At last an exhibition about alternatives! And I, on the way, as I am a bit insistent, was telling my muse that crisis are an opportunity for change, that it is in our hands to model the alternatives to the society that has fallen apart. The ones that defined the former rules should not be allowed to define the new ones because we have already seen how badly they worked.
Where are we the ones that ask ourselves? Where are we the ones that are prepared to work out the answers? Everywhere! Then, how can we unite our strengths? The will is there, the means too. We need to work together, take advantage of the shih, recognise the moment for the node and voilà! Handover of power. Although we’ll have to look at how we fix Marx’s engine so that the freers don’t become the exploiters. Educating the spark plugs, I suppose.
The thing is the exhibition is called The spirit of utopia, at the Whitechapel. There was a sanatorium for political problems where one could get an appointment, a time bank where tasks could be exchanged, a pottery workshop, hypnosis sessions about the economic crisis, futurist greenhouses, a homage to the worm… Why they called it utopian escapes me. As if to condemn it beforehand. That and the retro aesthetic makes it seem like no one is taking the ideas very seriously. And that is a shame.
It is true that the ideas are not new. Not the time banks, nor work as a unifying force, nor art as social therapy, nor, as any farmer knows, the homage to the worm. But the fact that they are not new is an advantage, not an inconvenience. It means they work. Just like the wheel works and drinking when one is thirsty. What has to be done is to adaptar the methods that we know work to our current needs and, please, invent a new look for them. Otherwise one gets crab complex.
Illustration: “They don’t appretiate it”, from the Feminist gooseneck barnacles series.