Artmaking as listening. As call and response. As connection. As community. As ideas. As medicine and healing. As love. As liberation. As America itself. These provocations explore the future of artmaking. The writers call for Black, indigenous, people of color, and disability leadership, for equity over inclusion, for intersectional aesthetics. They resist the idea of “new” art that serves whimsical curatorial and funding agendas while neglecting structural change. They embrace artwork grounded in history, bodies, place, and customs that reveal practices of injustice. They implore us to act, to move from questions of “how” to statements of “when.” When Black or Latinx composers comprise at least 10 percent of programming at every orchestra in America. When disability itself takes the stage. When art and cultural organizations lead our post-pandemic reintegration. When artists help create solutions to the country’s hardest problems and are paid equitably and transparently.
“Liberation is collective...it opens like an aperture.”
Tony McDade. Breonna Taylor. George Floyd. We say their names as an invocation to New Paradigms. This year of radical reckoning demands we build new power and recognize existing value in people and stories that have too long been shunted to the side. Whether it’s decolonizing museums, democratizing public television, or pushing to change normative conceptions of labor and productivity, these new paradigms imagine deep ethical practices to meet communities where they are and with the resources and support they need. The voices in New Paradigms center Black, indigenous, disabled, queer, women, and trans folx, moving beyond token solidarity statements to envision a world architected to embrace and honor the multiplicity of story and experience. Drawing upon the anger, energy, and possibility of 2020, these provocations critique our “fundamentally broken systems” and lay out how to repair them, insisting upon ways of being that disrupt SAMO.
Heather Chaplin on the free press
Grace Lee on more than one lens
Las Imaginistas on becoming social cyborgs
Chris E. Vargas on demands for trans+ affirming museums
Patty Berne on the earth as our starting point as interviewed by Bianca I Laureano
Carrie Lozano on big data
Jenni Monet on the realities of the indigenous timeline
Place is often seen as an extension of the self—and the setting for better and more authentic ways of telling stories. When considering the ways we interpret place, we think about its synonyms: scene, setting, situation, venue, area, neighborhood. Most of these suggest a human presence; they also imply where a story happens. This connection between humanity and place is at the heart of these provocations. They call for stories from the most local level, stories told by local storytellers most affected by the issues at the heart of their communities, and they call for an understanding that how we forge these narratives is already present in these places. Place becomes something infinitely more meaningful when it is grounded in local power and perspective, fashioned by the corner poet or storyteller, and captured by the eyes of those living there.
Lewis Raven Wallace on the end of parachute journalism
Mazin Sidahmed on community-based investigative journalism
Sonya Childress on just filmmaking
New Red Order on land acknowledgment and land return
Maribel Alvarez on abolishing the border
Matt Thompson on the limits of the screen
Shaun Leonardo on anti-racist somatic work
The fields of arts and culture, documentary film, and journalism have long been built on unequal economic and decision-making models. The provocations that follow envision new cooperative models of resource-sharing and community ownership—alternatives to existing structures governed by, and serving, a select few. More than ever these fields need interventions of elasticity and shared responsibility, the same principles powering today’s mutual aid networks, formed in response to COVID-19, and yesterday’s community trusts, developed to democratize farms and housing for BIPOC communities. A co-op can flex to engage evolving needs and empower all of its members to ask, listen, give, and receive. These provocations show us how we might apply cooperative principles in new terrains, in new configurations, and with new populations claiming co-ownership. Join us in building new forms of trust.