Culture And Society
Work title: X?
The text is interesting and presents an interesting argument - but with no effective design consequence.
Money is an artificial creation. It is a number that we put on everything so we can determine its ‘’value’’. Our society would destroy itself if it wouldn’t have a way to evaluate everything. Binding culture, something so integral to humanity with something that is so disregarding of everything that is human is a path modern societies took. Modern cultural events have so many preparations, so many distractions that we lose the main point of culture – simple human interaction. All it takes to create a cultural event is interaction creation and exchange of experiences. And that only needs time, curiosity, a symboland place.
Before money, there was time. And time is the only thing we are able to give, use, lose and manage. We cannot create it, but we have to use it. And now, in the era of money, we neglect it. We lose it here and there, in small amounts that add up. One minute on the traffic light, two minutes in the elevator, three minutes waiting in the store, five minutes on a bus stop … Inmodern times, when all of us are in some way connected and all we need to do to reach a person on the other side of the world is couple of minutes/couple of touches/couple of persons, imagine what one person could do with all that lost time. Imagine what one million people could create in those couple of minutes? What could we learn of one another, of other cultures? How big is one minute?
Human mind is a curious mind. Give it something to wonder about, and it will relentlessly search for the explanation. All it needs is an initial spark, something to focus on for a split second, a symbol that will make it wonder about what is behind it, and the process will start. Using some of the precious time to search for the explanation, and maybe if what is behind the symbol is interesting,
A symbol is a thing that represents or stands for something else, especially a material object representing something abstract. Creating a material symbol for something as abstract and as immaterial as culture requires physically defining the most significant part of the culture. And culture cannot exist without human interaction. So culture is part of humanity. Symbol needs to represent humanity, or human itself, and yet spark an interest to see what else is there, behind that humanity. What place lies there, where humanity can manifest itself? Our curiosity needs to fallow the trail and to find the spot. Symbol needs to be a treasure map, where X marks the spot.
If culture needs is human interaction, then place is only important as a stage for the interaction. It doesn’t need to be anything specific, it can be a public square, a park, it can be beneath the tree, on the street … Finding a place and temporarily defining it for the function of culture is all that is needed to have this movement work. Later on, it could be voluntarily funded and held in more ‘’suited’’ places, but the primarily place of cultural exchange should be everywhere.
"People of different religions and cultures live side by side in almost every part of the world, and most of us have overlapping identities which unite us with very different groups. We can love what we are, without hating what – and who – we are not. We can thrive in our own tradition, even as we learn from others, and come to respect their teachings."
—Kofi Annan, Former Secretary-General of the United Nations
By willingly giving/using our ‘’wasted’’ time to promote an idea, one minute at a time, one person at a time, the idea could spread at an astonishing rate. And if an idea would be as simple as cultural exchange, something that only requires time to listen and time to share experience, forming around that idea should be easy. Creating a symbol for the movement that could be mocked up from anything and freestanding in space/ painted on a wall or floor/ posted on the internet/ printed and given / … / that will spark interest in others and invite more people to give time, work on the idea and spread it can create an exchange with total lack of any commercial properties. Placing interaction wherever possible or given/volunteered also negates the commercial part and brings out the point of culture, that it needs to be willingly accepted and searched for.