The G(k)NOT Project – Provoking (deep) Conversations
“We have to face the fact that either all of us are going to die together or we are going to learn to live together, and if we are to live together we have to talk.” ― Eleanor Roosevelt
It all started in August 2012 at Station North Arts Cafe (SNAC), when co-owner Kevin Brown and filmmaker Jude Lombardi had a conversation about the meaning of the term gentrification. A conversation provoked by an article in the City Paper about shutting down of the Load of Fun an artist space located in Baltimore City, USA. (1)
“Dialectics: Religions and Philosophies attempt to make humans aware of ‘a world’; dialectics attempt to make humans responsible for a world.” — Herbert Brün
Deep conversation begins with a dialectic that embraces our differences so that something unique might emerge. Deep conversation begins with asynchronicity when turning together in our tensions, conflicts and differences as we glide and guide our turbulence toward synchronicity. (2)
“Conflict can destroy movements. We need to fight the system, not each other.” — Erica Gardner
When addressing Occupy Wall Street in 2011, Angela Davis asked: “How can we be together in a community that respects and celebrates the differences among us? How can we be together in a unity that is not simplistic, that is not oppressive, BUT rather complex and emancipatory? Our unity must be complex and emancipatory.” She then evoked the words of the Black, Lesbian, Feminist Audre Lorde:
“Differences must not be merely tolerated BUT seen as a fund of polarities between which our creativity can spark like a dialectic.” — Audre Lorde
We know (as distinguished from what we think or believe) that variety and viability are vital. Diversity, participation-by-all, and collaboration are essentials for this project to work. We also know that in diverse groups, conflict, tension and disagreement are more likely to emerge. So we hope to nest (our) conflicts, tensions, differences, etc. in a premise that assumes peace is a need.
S entences N ow O pen W ide (Mark Enslin)
Do not try to tell us
Whoever you are
Whoever we may be
Do not try to tell us our needs
Ask us to tell you
To tell you as well as we can tell
what we think we need
Make us tell you
Create the context wherein we would be articulate
Create the necessary context wherein
Whatever we happen to say
and if we find no words
and if we cannot scream
and if even gestures are out of our reach
by the manifestation of our mere existence
Where the fact that we are objects
Though we need to be subjects
Tells you the need which we need to know
Even if you now know it before we do. (3)
When peace is a need conflict is a necessity and (deep) conversation a norm.
So how do we change our attitudes about (our) tensions, conflicts and disagreements so that they may become dialectic opportunities for generating newness?
One possibility when living cybernetics. (5)
Station North, a neighborhood worth caring about?