We are quite open and exposed in our daily life.It is quite accessible to know more about our doing and modality, yesterday and
tomorrow. We are ready for the conversations and actions that encounters may provoke. So, yes, let’s go to a bar after words.
And let’s start with a scathing open question:
• Can we all agree here, that one thing that perhaps relate us, is that everyone wants to make the world a better place?
In maths, when a problem arrives to a non-solution or “it breaks”, as they say, new numbers appear in the conversation for helping resolving the case. We counted: 1, 2, 3… and then we added fractions, and so forth… but not all the people go along with new scenarios. Confirming fear of the unknown, even in their names, numbers fell into certain obscurity: positive, negative, and alas! the imaginary numbers…
Recently we got quite hooked with a mathematical metaphor –by Hiroshi Hara– relating the world in which we live with the complex numbers, calling it a «complex world». And that thanks to our consciousness, we have always been able to live simultaneously in the «real world» and in the «imaginary world». Consequently, in the «real world» we can find just what it is measurable, such as the right hand of Descartes, while in the «imaginary world» we can find myths, and all kind of virtuality and de-distancing. To make it simple, while we go picking Pokemons, we inhabit that «imaginary world», and yet we still occupy space in the «real world.» But it took centuries for a worldwide acceptance of the negative numbers and even the zero, since it was understood that everything human must exists just in the «real world». The same happened much recently to the imaginary numbers, and of course still happen to the «imaginary world», even if politicians play Pokemon in Parliaments of Kingdoms.
So we have arrived to another simple question:
• What do we mean with: “a better place”?
antipodes café began as a continuation of explorations in definitions of borders of anything that we take for granted. A journey that perhaps started with very first steps… yes, those times of «A desalambrar» and all that folk…
From its name, antipodes café highlights its interest in a holistic nondisciplinary approach. «antipodes» is the word in charge of that, while «café» is clearly in the «real world» we were talking about. antipodes café in fact, is for us a reminder of the «complex world». A simple one on the better place we want to live in.
We can talk about urbanism, strategies, temporality and any dualism you may enjoy, but if we do not explore in what do we mean with “a better place”, we will be like running around our own tails. And that looks quite bad, and smells worse!
No, we do not have an answer. We have lot of questions about this “better place”:
is it just measurable and functional? Or it also includes our consciousness? It is about the right now with us? It is about the future we do not know?
And what about trust and relationships? It includes money? and Gods? Is there any room for power and class divisions? And how do we produce our needs in there? and our desires? But, who builds it? How are inhabitants? Are they Specialists? What means foreign? and local? Are they still monogamous? How people is raised in this better world? What means growth in there? Is this better world about development? What means to play? What about fairy tales?…
So the answer «YES» to the very first question of this talk will tear us apart if we take it for granted. For us the «world as a better place» is a «complex world», where the «imaginary world» appears simultaneously with the «real world». To arrive there, we have to build structures for opening dialogues about that «complex world», otherwise we will just talk about dressing with salt or sugar cubes the spectacular «real one».
antipodes café, Oslo 2017.12.07
about the event: [from organisers website]
“Bystemmer: ´Urban voices´”
“´Urban voices´ is an arena organised as part of the research project Demosspace. On December 7, Professor Don Mitchell from Uppsala University will present ideas on con/temporary urban development, followed by six talks about three places in Oslo. We wish to discuss if and how new forms of temporary, small-scale and street projects contribute to a truly creative city, to an inclusive urban development, and to more evenly distributed powers amongst citizens and small entrepreneurs. ”
Foto: By- og regionforskningsinstituttet NIBR (takk!)