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Complexity is the world built of relationships and it’s a very different thing to engage what is true or real in a complexity framework than it is to engage in it, in what is a modernist Western enlightenment ambition, to identify the absolute objective properties that are intrinsic in any given thing. Everyone is grappling with the fact that the world is exhibiting itself so much in these entanglements of relationships. The arts are completely at home in that world. And so, we’ve been sort of under the thumb of the old world. We’ve always been a kind of second-class citizen in an enlightenment rationalist society. But once we move out of that world and we move into a complexity framework, suddenly the arts are entirely at home and we have capacity in that world that a lot of other sectors don’t have. What I’ve been trying to do with this report (Art and the World After This) is articulate the way in which these different disruptions are putting us in a very different reality and it’s a reality in which we go from being a kind of secondary entertaining class to, maybe, having a capacity to sit at the heart of a lot of really critical problem-solving challenges.david maggs, conscient podcast, march 25, 2021, vancouver
David Maggs grew up in Corner Brook, Newfoundland and spent much of his developmental years as a classical pianist. In 2002, David founded Gros Morne Summer Music, a music festival that has grown into a year-round interdisciplinary arts festival. As an academic, Maggs addresses issues of culture and sustainability. His paper, Art and the World After This, was published by the Metcalf Foundation on June 15, 2021 which I encourage everyone to read and circulate. Also of interest is his Metcalf Innovation Fellow David Maggs writes about arts and COVID for new collaboration with The Philanthropist.
e30 maggs was recorded in Quichena Park, Vancouver on March 25, 2021. It was my first recording of season 2 so you might hear some nervousness and excitement in my voice (David was very calm, thankfully).
David and I exchanged on a wide range of issues including connections between artistic capacity and sustainability issues, ‘reality’, how the arts sector can rethink its unique value proposition, disruption, indigenous knowledge, the recovery of the arts sector after the covid crisis, etc.
As I did in all episode in season 2, I integrated excerpts from e19 reality into this episode as interludes.
I would like to thank David for taking the time to speak with me, for sharing his deep knowledge of cultural and sustainability policy and for his vision of a much larger role for the arts sector in the climate emergency.
For more information on David’s work, see https://greattransition.org/contributor/david-maggs