In the third of this ten-part series, Momo meets the Metamodernist, strategist, cultural historian and social engineer pushing for more radical and imaginative visions to tackle 'wicked' problems. Founder of Holy Handgrenades and and co-host of The Art Beat, she explores playful connections, perspectives, games and art "making the world more soulfully human, shaping next todays better."
Speaker, LARPER, comedienne, lecturer at Kingston School of Art, Religions & Faith Groups Coordinator at Extinction Rebellion, she says in crisis:
“The arts tell us that what we should be building is community and richness. Lots of artists went to war and I can’t see any of them telling you: “Yeah!, Go on, boy!””
“Take the feeling and sublimate it. Marinading in it unfulfilled creativity – find the tools to do something.”
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On art history compared with history: “I think there’s something important about the visual aspect of stories. When you travel to places to visit art, you are exposed to time travel. You are exposed to different worlds – not just your current reality but the realites of then and how time is ongoing and how society changes and doesn’t change. It reveals cultural texture.”
“So much commerce is based on culture and this notion of civilisation is proving that there’s stuff to evidence how civilised you are and how you’ve progressed through the ages.”
“We are expected to see the world based on the way we are told we should see it. We are culturally programmed creatures, educationally instructed to think a certain way because we need to pass an exam and to have the right answers. When the first years enter my class, the invitation is not to have one right answer or that there is a master narrative, but to ask many questions.”
“In order for us to understand our story – because when you’re born you’re given a story, you’re given a name – we need to understand that our story is embedded in other stories. The story of your parents, of your family, of the people and places around you. And for us to reframe the stories we have for the unknown future depends on how we collect other stories and make sense of it. And we’re a bit overwhelmed, because we’ve never been a netorked species before; there are a lot of connections. That is changing us. We’ve never had to be this kind of humanness before and we’re having to figure it out.”
“We are meaning making machines. We weave meaning into our existence.” Clifford Geertz, cultural anthropologist.
“There’s not just the human story. There’s the story of how insects are or how plants are. It’s a weaving of different threads.”
“How can we be provocative without being destructive? How can your provocation invite contribution?”
“We’re clearly richer, thicker storytellers but our media has been capping us to curtail it. By having all these fragments it’s harder for anyone to keep tabs – we literally have so many tabs open, and how are we suppsed to reconnect it all?”
“I think that “holy” should belong to all of us, regardless of religious affiliations – that life is sacred. What it refers to is wholeness.”
“In the age of rational enlightenment, 80% of the planet is still allied to a religion. If you scan our histories of civilisations “theos” has always been at the root of them. But if you strip out those religious references people will still use language like: “I believe in this politician or that leader. They’ll save us! If I just vote them in the world will be different.” There’s this sense of salvation through expectation that if you raise someone to a certain positionw we’ll be save, we’ll be redeemed, they will turn the tide. And we invest SO much of our time in fiction!”