“Space is the opportunity; place is the understood reality” Re-Place-ing Space: The Roles of Place and Space in Collaborative Systems Steve Harrison & Paul Dourish, Xerox Research 1996
I hesitated a long time over whether to head this section Space or Place.
Place it seems to me is so much a marker for the human, a more natural way to begin this next important discussion. But I have chosen Space. Because it has an Imprecise vibration to it, an annoying, niggling way of just being. Continue reading “8. Space or Place?”
Experience takes place in a three-dimensional universe and I have often watched myself leaving inexperience behind rising like a bird on a thermal, revolution tamed to a simple twist of the spiral. Continue reading “7. The Spiral”
Empiricism mobilizes human effort to defeat the bewildering variety of locks that deny me access to understanding the inherent structures of the natural world. There is no more Imprecise way to prove a hypothetical point than the progressive refining of scientific query by empirical investigation preceding each stage, where science has delivered one more incremental increase in my ability to unify my natural and spiritual knowledge. Continue reading “6. Empiricism”
“Wha one blinde leadeth another, they fall both i ye diche.” Matthew 15:14 Miles Coverdale Bible (1535)
How do I learn? Through the actions of my fellow humans who destabilize my view of the world: for from chaos comes instability comes experience comes learning. Continue reading “5. Learning”
Let’s pause for a contradiction.
Irritatingly for the Precise, not everything is complex even if everything is challenging, and there are situations where it is more Imprecise to want to work with the grain. Going with the grain makes it easier to work the raw material and I often get a smoother finish for less effort. Continue reading “4. Work with the grain”
Now let me take it a layer deeper, but you resist the need to become more Precise as we go, remaining ever vigilant and sensitive to the creative benefits of Imprecision. Continue reading “3. Chaos”
In this way, other people and sometimes just living in the material world, are ever-presenting new opportunities. But no-one can extend beyond their current situation without taking some risks. Continue reading “2. Risk”
Yet behind the successes of our engineers are scattered the remains of countless failed attempts at Precision, evidence of the seemingly intractable nature of chaos. In our desperation to attain the happy state of Precision, we seek out every ounce of Comfort that our feeble attempts at Precision can hold. Continue reading “1. The Comforts of Precision”
“If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts. But if he will be content to start with doubts, he shall end in certainties.” The Advancement of Learning Francis Bacon 1605
Or do I mean Controlled Uncertainty? Or is it more The Random? Continue reading “The Benefits of Imprecision”
For the past few years I have been privileged to be invited each July to give a lecture on this topic to the MA students in arts administration at Boston University as part of their London Summer School. There is a lot of sloppy definition about around these four terms and I have used these annual sorties to gradually hone my ideas. This presentation dates from July 2016. Continue reading “Cultural Diplomacy or Creative Enterprise: a Definition of Terms”
This participatory article is from a presentation I was asked to make as agent provocateur at Factorial in October 2014, a meeting of artists and city administrators concerning what to do about the eight dysfunctional art factories in the City of Barcelona.
Content: Creativity, Culture & Community
I am here hopefully to provide some context rather than resolution to your debate. It is important for us to have time for discussion so I am going to throw out a few broad responses that I hope we can expand on later: Continue reading “Creativity and Leadership”
“Wanting and not wanting the same thing at the same time is a baseline condition of human consciousness.”
Wonderlane / Flickr:
I spent a fascinating half-day recently with Andy Moyler who, during an incredibly wide-ranging chat, gave me some feedback on my blog suite The Benefits of Imprecision. “What did I mean by the word imprecision?” he said.
Boom. Straight to the heart of it. Continue reading “From Imprecision to Uncertainty”
Text of a five-minute response I was asked to make at the South-Central Regional conference of the RSA on Heritage, Southampton in June 11th 2016. Like a lot of my contributions it took the form of a provocation designed to promote some lateral thinking about the comforts of the subject. As is also usual there is a lot of recycled material in here too, so some of it might seem familiar. Continue reading “The Significance of Heritage”
The extraordinary body of works of modern art and design commissioned and held by the Cathedral in Chichester since the latter half of the twentieth century now forms a group of exceptional interest and significance among English cathedrals, giving Chichester a leading position as a patron of late C20 creative work by artists of the first rank. In the following listings these artists are mentioned in bold and the Cathedral dignitary concerned is underlined. Continue reading “20th Century Art and Chichester Cathedral”
A walking tour around the city of the architectural and public art heritage. With grateful thanks to my colleague Nevil Hopkins.
The 20th Century did not exactly contribute a wealth of landmark buildings to Chichester and it reflected the work of even fewer big-name architects. Continue reading “Chichester’s 20th Century Buildings”
As a paid-up member of the 20th Century Society and as a child of the sixties who cheered the replacement of history with modernism, I have lived a lifetime of resistance to what I have seen for years as the useless preservation in aspic of past glories. Continue reading “Defining Conservation”
Not everything fits into the neat titles at the top of a landing page and ideas also evolve. My Brain Attic blog therefore exists to underpin with extra content the proposals and discourse of the various titles in the blog itself. Continue reading “A Brain Attic Blog”
This series of suggestions comes from a WordPress workshop I attended a few years ago in Brighton, that buzzy digital city. If you want an effective website then success lies less in your technological choices than in the quality of your thinking and forward planning. Was it ever any different, whatever your context? Continue reading “Content Strategy”
People use me as a:
1. Usefully disinterested chairman. Now one of the Elders, I have no axe to grind, I have developed my career and built my reputation – so your ideas are safe! Continue reading “How does Thought Leadership work?”
My role as cultural broker and now thought leader has found useful expression in what one good friend termed my Unlocking Ideas sessions, where I spend a lot of time listening to seasoned professionals looking for the wood among the trees. But then something entirely unplanned happened. Continue reading “A Year of Conversation”
The power of integrated, joined-up thinking is recognized and new generalists are required, able to grasp specialist knowledge as well as able to range across disciplines.
I am not a very focussed person and it takes me a lot of effort to structure anything. I also just can’t hack doing proper research. Continue reading “The Archaeology of this Generalist”
I am interested in the potential of the profile of the average creative entrepreneur to lead us out of our post-2008 doldrums, a profile that can marry the creation of economic wealth with other value-added contributions of strong ethics to return us to as much respect for our social and cultural wealth as Western cultures have given to money since the 1980s. Continue reading “The Creative Entrepreneur”
This article needs publishing now I feel (Dec 2012), since the decline of state control over its cultural diplomacy is moving fast. The text is an aggregate of various Web contributions culled to construct a keynote presentation I was asked to make to the closing session at the ENCATC Academy held in Brussels on 7 Dec 2012. The overt topic was to promote debate on the impact of social media and commerce on cultural diplomacy.
Continue reading “Losing Cultural Diplomacy”
This article is the full text of a presentation I made on 13 September 2012 at Goldsmiths College University of London for the 20th Anniversary conference of ENCATC. The seminar I was contributing to had been asked to consider the item: From the state to the commercial: new models of cultural relations and diplomacy.
My work regularly leads me to interrogate five notions: Continue reading “Cultural Entrepreneurs: The New Diplomats?”
Inspired by entries in Smashing Magazine and Psychology Today, I had been working on this article for some time; but spending an evening with the self-help mob the other night, where Barbara Winter made a plea for the return of the Renaissance Man, I was prompted to post it right away.
Why do I make this claim? Continue reading “It’s Time for the Generalist”