Where spring is our “large” season, lasting roughly from March to June, the sekki calendar breaks it down into six small seasons: start of spring, rain waters, the going-out of the worms, vernal equinox, clear and bright, and rain for harvests.2 Both describe a similar period of time, but one does so with a precision that feels much more human.
Like written language, the development of a standard calendar enabled stronger coordination and control for countries and societies. And also like written language, standard calendars introduced shared metaphors and patterns of thought. The week, the month, the year, sure. But also the financial quarter, the nine-to-five, the holiday.
We constantly embed memories into objects and contexts without realizing it. However, we also consciously offload our declarative memories into objects
It seems to me that our politics these days require us to give each other the heart to do just that. To figure out how, with each other, we can open up possibilities for what can still be. And we can’t do that in in a negative mood. We can’t do that if we do nothing but critique. We need critique; we absolutely need it. But it’s not going to open up the sense of what might yet be. It’s not going to open up the sense of that which is not yet possible but profoundly needed.
I am really, really politically driven. It’s less about personal ambition and more about collective ambition. I think we live in a society that fetishizes and encourages personal ambition in all kinds of ways, including by creating all these levels of precarity and insecurity. The stakes of winning are so high, and everybody is so scared. While we encourage our personal ambition, we diminish and discourage collective ambition. I think that focus on personal ambition is really understandable, because we live in such an unequal society — but it will kill us.
There are so many creative people in the world, especially in our sphere, and lately I’ve been thinking people should be more creative in how they insert themselves into a project, or into relationships. For example, maybe you shouldn’t start a project space, since there are many, but instead you could do something more valuable by considering more thoughtfully how you interact.
. . . in maintaining your commitment to commence and to celebrate, to shake and remake the foundations of this institution and of other institutions like it—the universities and museums and galleries, especially, that constitute the art world, thereby providing the ethical and aesthetic foundations for the world we have and the world we want to have. That’s another ever-widening gap we also have to mind, with all of our creative energy and contemplative intensity, with all our love of beauty and our hatred of brutality. This commitment to rock and remake the foundations of the world must be our constant study and this is why we can never talk of school being over but only of its constant rebeginning, that ongoing commencement that we gather here, en masse, to celebrate today.
The small-scale initiatives can now be influential on a larger scale, as nodes in a commons-based global network of local networks. Through digital commoning, grassroots initiatives can have both a local and global orientation: “the small and the local, when they are open and connected, can therefore become a design guideline for creating resilient systems and sustainable qualities, and a positive feedback loop between these systems” (Manzini, 2013). Hence, instead of “scaling-up,” CBPP initiatives are “scaling-wide.”
The sociality of design—artist-controlled, collaborative, and peer-to-peer initiatives that bring artists and writers into direct contact with each other—a network of relations that’s focused on ideas, discourse, and the present moment.