Well, I hadn’t thought very much about imagination until today, until you raised the issue, and now I am thinking about it. What I know is, from working with addicted people, which I do as a psychologist of course, and have been for many decades, when you ask them to complain, say, “What’s really wrong?” and you give them a list… This is a psychological test. You give them a list of possible things which they can identify as being wrong. ‘Boring’ is on the top of the list. They are bored.
It’s such a broad label for lots of things, so my approach to Craftivism is ‘gentle protest’. You’re protesting against something but you always focus on what you want in the world, a positive vision of the world, and you’re using craft as a tool to do gentle protest which is careful, considerate and compassionate activism, hopefully.
On a very hot Sunday I travelled to London to visit the Institute of Imagination’s ‘Imagination Lab’. The Institute emerged as an idea in 2011, and was up and running in 2013, aiming to “help understand the power of imagination and realise its potential”. They run different events, but their biggest are their ‘Lab Live’ events, which run every 6 weeks, and this one was called ‘Lab Live: Metropolis’, an interactive, family event.
What’s most amazing about the whole situation is that the places where people ought to do their thinking, places like the universities, and the thinking classes in general, are absolutely AWOL, as they say in the military. Absent without leave. They are not on the scene. They are not raising their voices. They are not making sense. We are living in a moment of unprecedented incoherence.
Venice is a place that has evolved in such a way that absolutely stokes the curiosity. Every step fires it up. You look up, you look down, you look left, you look right, everywhere there is something that invites you to explore, to examine, to enter, to reflect. Perhaps it is the acoustics of the place, car-free, bicycle-free, motorbike-free, just footfall, human voices, pigeons and distant boats, that puts us into an altered state we’re not used to, one in which our attention can flourish.
Part of the pipeline is intended to pass through the French-speaking state of Quebec, an independent-minded place, and although it still only at the planning stage, already in Quebec it has encountered a very unusual form of resistance. Beer.
While in Santorso in Italy for the Transition Hubs Gathering, I pieced together, from various people, the remarkable story of Alessandro Rossi. Given that it is a story heard from different voices, at various times of day or night, through my poor Italian, and that there is nothing I can find online about him, so […]
In case you don’t know, the Transition Hubs are the organisations that represent and support Transition in different countries (Transition Mexico, Transition Germany etc…). They work closely together and collaborate on projects. This year’s meeting was held in Santorso in Italy, about an hour from Venice, in the foothills of the Alps, with the help of the Santorso in Transizione. Hubsters came from 24 different nations or regional Hubs, with 2 more participating remotely, bringing their amazing tales of Transition in those places.
“And what about ‘faux imagination’? ‘Faux creativity’?. If we’re in an age where every word almost has lost its meaning and value, what happens when someone claims that they are imaginative, or they even name their project, or their beer, imagination, but there’s no imagination that actually went into it? It’s almost like we need to create a new language”.
Last week I published a blog called “You only get so many Mays in your life”: why our imagination needs the dawn chorus. It included quotes from a discussion I had with Tony Whitehead of the RSPB at the Dartington Soundcamp a couple of weeks ago. The interview in its entirety was so interesting that I […]