Thanks for stopping by to read this.
So… lately, I've been doing a little thinking. Actually, I've been doing a lot of it. For the past few years I've been working on something and I’m at a point where I would like to share it and ask for your advice and help. And I apologize in advance for the length of this “post”- it’s tough to sum up many years of work on something in a couple sentences. And for all the things and people I’ve missed out on over the past few years, people like Jeff Davis, Ruxandra Donose and Mike Bellar, this is for you.
When I was in high school, I read a Time Magazine article about something called the Ur Song, a melody that runs through all of our subconscious from a long distant genetic memory and is common to everyone. It moves us. It unites us. And I’ve been looking for it ever since. Not that I’ve found it (yet), but along the way I’ve found something else. The song is much bigger than just a song, and I think we’re all a part of it in a much bigger way than we often realize.
The thoughts and ideas in our arts, sciences, and belief systems move us all universally. Everywhere I’ve been around the world, I’ve experienced this common language of expression and story telling. It just has different variations and perspectives. I’m sure so many of you have seen, and are a part of, the same thing. What I would like to do is bring together a network of people from all over the world to start exploring and documenting our different languages of expression- from where we’ve come to where we are now. From there, i think we can find some new and innovative ways of not only making this information accessible to people, but also connecting to new and different audiences and global art forms. Basically, a worldwide Wikipedia/Amazon of arts and culture.
But behind all of this is a twist and a secret purpose...
My hope is that through exposure to other cultures and ideas that something like this can not only be used as a great creative network, but perhaps also can help to break down barriers between different peoples. I know this isn’t an end to all the world’s woes. Personally, I don’t believe in things like evil, but I do believe in apathy and just plain ignorance. And I think we can use the talents we already have to bring at least a little bit of understanding. What eventually brings us all together isn't a song or a thing. It's us. It's our innate desire to rise above and create and build and think and express. This is common to (almost) everyone, no matter where on this planet you’re from. I want us to tap into this universal desire (like it’s just that easy). To quote one of the greatest people of our time, Vaclav Havel...
As a way of putting this together, I've divided the world into about 7-9 different cultural areas based primarily on music tonal scale- Africa, the Middle East, India, East Asia, the Pacific Rim, Europe, and the Americas. There could be room for a couple more, but it’s a good place to start. From there I've started to document different elements of each- visual arts, music, dance, dramatic arts, literature, architecture, fashion, sport and food. I've begun with just the basic research, but am also keeping track of people associated with each cultural element so there’s also a human representative. Again, this is just the start.
I've created a 3d concept map of all these cultural areas, along with the elements of each and the potential for interaction between them. This model also assists in the acquisition of research, communication between different areas, accessibility to all information through an interactive web site, and will also help to organize live performance and presentation events. (Sigh….I need to get out more.)
the same map can be used in a similar way, but different approach
I can imagine this “network” working in a few ways. Hopefully, it will get people from all over the world and different disciplines in contact with each other. It will also allow an accumulation of research, especially into some art forms, fashions, dances, etc., that may be on the verge of fading away. And lastly, it will allow us to combine different cultural elements together in what could be some amazingly kick-ass live events. The concept map This is just the briefest of descriptions. There is so much more...
But this is also where I realize my own limitations. Honestly, I have little or no idea what I’m doing and can use a lot of help. I’m looking for so many things- the best way to network people in a way that allows for open and positive communication, website builders, researchers, but most of all I’m looking for stories, ideas, and images from all over the world. Everything from information on artistic forms, to music, to types of dance, to images of family in traditional clothing, to recipes your grandmother used to make, to stories of what is was like growing up where you grew up, to whatever you can think of and/or may have expertise in. I don’t want this to become a large time investment for anyone and I believe we can do a lot with just a little . This project will always need contributors, but I’m also looking for people that have the skills to play a bigger part in getting this whole contraption going, whatever that may be or wherever it takes us.
If you like any of this, please let me know. If you want to be a part of it, even better. Please spread the word.
(This is in no way affiliated with Temple University.)