I wanted to understand the individual perspectives of people involved in that discussion. That got me to thinking about the difference between one point perspective and two-point perspective. (The latter a bit trickier, my first drafting teacher told us, didn't he, although graphic presentation can be quite elegant and refined, regardless.)
What came into my mind after withdrawing from the heat of the fray was "The studio is the place where you find out who you are," a statement I thought had been made by Michael Cardew, the British potter, although now I'm not certain it was he who said it. Regardless, that statement, "The studio is the place where you find out who you are," got even more "sounds true" to me as an insight because I recognize my own need to locate myself in mine.
All this has to do with my looking for a way to contextualize the rainfall pressure I felt in the 2013-Base Camp chats. ("Rainfall" because it's a natural phenomenon, as is pressure; but even if usually it's a weather-reporter announcing their relationship, weather-reporter, I am not, at this time. Weather forecaster, hardly at all. Not my task, here. Weather interpreter - we'll see...
But: FYI :: iYp (if You please): Here's some info about Cardew, whose inspirational dedication got me thinking about why the globalization of "arcology" is worth the dedication it will/must take to achieve. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Cardew>
A fellow who put himself to the test, was Mr. Cardew. Which is, I believe, exactly what is needed, what we also have to do, in a way that we determine is "our own way." One test, in our case, of our understanding and appreciation of the "arcology lessons of Ar/Cosanti" must be the "globalization of arcology." This is essential in order to carry forward the idea of arcology; which is, as yet, neither completely defined nor completely conceptualized. Nor actualized. globalized, even if some have opined it "ought to have caught on," it "should be happening everywhere." Far from it.
Cardew took his understanding of his art to West Africa where the Brits, bless 'em, decided that the pottery needs met there by locals could be industrialized to serve the outside world (eg: all the post-colonial colonized, which by then also included - er, uh - all those colonizers, of course, who "loved it so much they could not leave").
The myriad problems of colonization mentality notwithstanding (to begin parsing this, one must turn to Franz Fanon), what concerns me, w/ respect to furthering Ar/Cosanti, is how to further what I have come to call the "arcological imperative."
I observe that "ecological architecture" is going on in the world and in some ways doing not too unthinkably badly, thank you very much. But by the same token, the "architectural ecology" we are building in central AZ near Cordes Junction (to 'prototype' a kind of inversion of ecological architecture), is not happening nearly so quickly nor so much as we want it to, which has been at times attributed to what "they" (the Board of Trustees), or "it " (The Cosanti Foundation) is/are doing and/or not doing.
Well, now, I'm gonna go out on a limb, here. If "they" and "it" is one thing and "we" and "us" is another, what has to happen in order to effect change? How can it be anything other than to shift 'our' own perspective, so that 'they' can shift theirs?
IMO, we had better ponder well so that we can well fathom what a network of over 7000 means, energy-wise.
Because there's a new Paradox to add to Arcosanti's roster of 'em: If we take into account all the community consciousness efforts that Ar/Cosanti's expended over the course of the past 50+ years, if we continue putting all those efforts together as we have begun to do, how is possible to not have created some community already that is self-sufficient enough to further its own ends?
Only answer to that question comes into my mind is, we must be awful good at an old game that goes: "Hold loaded weapon, aim carefully at foot, pull trigger."
So I will, once again, state my bias. While the legal particulars of organizating one vary according to where you live, I've had enough experience with cooperatives to advocate for them as an effective social and business organization tool. Kootenay Coop in Nelson, BC, which started as a storefront 'food buying club' is now building a "commons" that is, simply, arcological but for name. Therefore, I'm advocating for the establishment of an Arcosanti Community Cooperative, because a co-op is, as an instrument, a sophisticated business development piano (cf Paolo Soleri) that can help us accomplish what all the 'break-out groups' at the memorial gathering said we want to accomplish.
Here's how I think an ACC might play out, how spinoff business groups in an Ar/Cosanti Community Co-operative might come to function:
Let's suppose that among.us, there are five or more people in the 'greater community of Arcosanti' (its 'tribe' - as Jeff Stein put it in a letter I posted on this blog in October 2012) whose interests center around wanting to build more of Arcosanti. Let's say they are all architects and are willing to practice architecture in AZ, live in AZ x months per year. Those five people talk with an able and kindred-spirited lawyer, form a co-op. Let's say there are 5 more people who are interested in ceramics and pottery, who want more clay studio space at Ar/Cosanti. If those 5 or more people who are clay/ceramics-minded, "Clayworks" then becomes a subdivision of the community cooperative. The architects get busy with the designs for Clayworks. More divisions-developments happen among any five or more people with an interest in other business or vocational areas, whatever they are. Interior design. Agriculture, naturally. Bee-keeping. Handcraft (even handcrafts of interest to Haystack, which is BTW still missing from the alumni network roster although now that, this month, a fiber/textile workshop will take place at Arcosanti, the tangled threads of the missing Haystack folk will perhaps magically reappear, help weave or embroider (the latter originating as a means of mending) a fine new order that enables fiber as well as food production to spur the co-operative community's agricultural exploration, cultivation, and production. Or:
Music! (Opera, anyone?) Drama! (Shakespeare? Noh dramas? Improv?) How about Hospitality? If ever there was a place that deserved an industrious gang of hoteliers/hostel-mavens/restauranteurs-in-the-making, surely it's Arcosanti. Dance? (Group Motion visits, as does Human Nature. Why not others?) Education! (A natural site for teaching any number of sciences. For starters: astronomy, geography, archeology, geology?)
The sky's the limit, if there even is a limit - and I'm not sure there actually is...but if there are limits, the possibilities are limited, IMO, only by how much time we spend chasing obstacles rather than surmounting them by organizing ourselves.
My vote for how to organize ourselves is to form an Arcosanti Community Cooperative. Each branch of said Cooperative will be able to manage its own finances, elect or appoint its own officers to: preside (cleanup, vittles, etc); plan; record; correspond; handle accounting; report. Et cetera.
To go back to my opening salvo, the core thought of globalizing arcology. I'd like to know what our new alumni website tells us about our network's demographics? Where are we located on the globe? I'll also like to know, as well: What's been our effect, wherever we are? How have we been effective as "arcologists"? And: How can we be more effective as "arcologists"?
Some spinoff questions: What would we call our "common consciousness" :: of arcology? Is arcology a state of mind? If so, how does the arcological mind (is there such a thing?) direct (and express) itself?
One more: How can "building arcology" happen without cooperation? Isn't there something in the definition of 'architectural ecology' that implies looking beyond oneself? Doesn't it require compassionate practice?
When I came across: "To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy, not respectable; wealthy, not rich; to study hard, think quietly, talk gently, act frankly; to listen to the stars and birds, to babes and sages; to bear all cheerfully, do all bravely, await occasions, hurry never. In a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common....This is to live in Nelson." - my immediate thought was: Can we say, of the 'populace' of Ar/Cosanti, something as direct as this?
How do we come to know ourselves/each other as 'arcologists'?
Group discussions can sometimes include some what I'll call 'thunder-and-lightning debate,' Sturm und Drang. To account for my own part in those, what I feel I can humbly offer is what I hope can be called an 'informed clinical perspective' - having left architecture school for, eventually, Social Work, which accorded me the privilege of working with some fine supervisors, none of whom can be held responsible for my flaws, which, despite them, are nevertheless probably not totally unnoticeable.
Therefore, I feel, we must separate our wish for Ar/Cosanti from our experience of Ar/Cosanti.
(I write 'Ar/Cosanti' rather than 'Arcosanti' because for me Cosanti was the beginning and bears upon how I relate to what we are doing.)
How does 'arcology' become a piece of one's lifework? It has, it does, it can. This website, <arcologycentral.net>, is an open-ended, enjoyable way for me to maintain/refocus my intention to Ar/Cosanti, allows me to retain the advantage of my love for it, my appreciation of it, my hopefulness about how to realize its purposefulness, its potential. Do I ever doubt for a moment that individual passion has played a part in everyone's experience of what I'll call the Self-evolution at Arcosanti?
Not at all. But what I mean to address here, more immediately, here and now, is the business of how we can best go about creating that which can/will expand Arcosanti's infrastructure in ways naturally leading to construction of the desired/needed skeletal material infrastructures that were originally envisioned by Paolo Soleri. I'd like to see us do this in a way that honors equally the formidable contribution of Colly Soleri, without whose unfailing provision of 'human glue' at the start, not even one single apse designed by her reknown husband would ever have been built.