Surely, there is a strong link here with my previous post. This is the abstract of my presentation at the Tickle Your Catastrophe! conference, taking place in Ghent, Friday and Saturday, March 6th and 7th, 2009.
“Emergency vs. Emergency: Scenarios on the Creativity of Crisis.”
The presentation intends to develop previous ideas on how states and conditions of emergency allow for new creative emergent practices. In this instance, worst-case scenarios are suggested as a way to tackle on the creativity of crisis, especially in terms of current extreme urban growth in developing countries.
While deliberately confounding and playing on the ambiguity of the word emergency as the phenomena of emergence related to collective intelligence – as explored and popularised by Steve Johnson and others – and also as a synonym of a state of urgency, the paper will propose an out-of-the-box outlook on how the production of knowledge and culture is rapidly changing its geography.
As such, factors of environmental change –like global warm-up and desertification– and changing global social conditions –like the North/South divide and the expansion of slum cities– can come together with oppositions like that of informal vs. formal creativity to offer a prospective portrait of a post-colonial displacement of the centres of cultural and technological production onto quite unexpected sites.
It will also be defended that this not only encompasses a dislocation but also a change in forms by which knowledge is proposed, appropriated and exchanged in what is now sometimes called a new network culture.
Within this context, facing the possibility of crisis or catastrophe may simply signify that we must take on new possibilities of looking at and responding to critical problems. And engaging with sustainability –fashionable and annoying as this idea has become– may then simply mean readdressing the notion of resourcefulness in new and unexpected ways.