Visionary solutions can’t be forced. They just kind of… happen. That “Eureka!” response to an obstacle requires hours of thought about the potential solutions that have all been maddeningly mulled over time and time before.
Finns are exceptionally good at innovation. Romantic composer Jean Sibelius. Open-source software visionary Linus Torvalds. World-renowned information philosopher Pekka Himanen. Founders of the pioneer fashion company Marimekko Viljo and Armi Ratia. Women’s rights activist Minna Canth. Cell phone inventors Nokia.
I think it’s the long winters — nothing really to do but sit around and think.
Developing a brand new solution requires spending hours and hours pondering all facets of the problem you are facing. In these days holed up and staring out at the snow, I am defining the questions that this project is seeking to answer. These questions are tossing about in my brain like stones tumbling against each other in a polisher:
- What defines “visual art”?
- How is visual art incorporated into daily life in this community?
- How do artists view their role in their community?
- How do community members view the artists?
- How is the support system for the artists structured?
- How do artists cultivate trust with the other members of their community?
- How do artists cultivate trust with people from outside their community?
- How do artists spark productive dialogue around social responsibility?
- What elements of the social infrastructure are required for artists to incite change?
- What solutions do the artists provide?
- Is art really necessary to the resolution of the community’s dilemmas?
The snow and isolation force me to sit still and think them all over. And over. And over. I am hardheaded, and that mulishness will uncover an innovative solution. Artists do innovative things. They have tools that you and I can use to change the world. I’m gonna bring those tools to you, dammit.
Got more questions for me to throw into the tumbler? Feel free to leave them as a comment or drop me an email.