Seeds of Change - Heiner Benking's Blog - 'art in service': interrogating social practice - BERLIN special invitation    
 'art in service': interrogating social practice - BERLIN special invitation
picture picture picture picture picture picture 3 Feb 2012 @ 14:04, by Heiner Benking

As a side event after the RADIUS OF ART symposium we have just finalized this Public Event on Friday next week in coop with the Open-Forum of PNW at the HomeBaseLAB in Berlin.

'art in service': interrogating social practice - INVITATION see also the (Anna-Lindh-Network) announcement.
with Todd Lester, our special guest on FRIDAY 10th in the evening in BERLIN. Todd is Executive Director for Global Arts Corps. - Facebook

Global Arts Corps' mission is to offer innovative strategies for communities in conflict to process the past in order to thrive in the future. The Corps brings together world-class artists from opposite sides of civil, religious, and racial conflict, who, together, create theatrical productions that tour the world's conflict zones to advance the cause of reconciliation.

See also THEATER WITHOUT BORDERS: and check-out Todds background:
TODD LESTER founded freeDimensional (fD) and Creative Resistance Fund (CRFund) which work with residencies in over 80 countries to host culture workers in dire situations. Currently, he serves on the boards of residencies in India, Germany, and Mexico and recently wrote desk studies for FREEMUSE/SIDA and Res Artis/Fonds BKVB on the residency sectors in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Turkey, West Africa, North Africa, Middle East, Central America and South America. This Winter, he is convening a workshop for the Heinrich Boell Stiftung on 'Conditions that put Artists in Danger' for its February 2012 Radius of Art conference and for TPAM Yokohama giving a keynote talk on residency and new forms of sharing in the wake of the 2011 earthquake in March.
He recently assumed the role of Executive Director for Global Arts Corps. Before that, he consulted for the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, Fonds BKVB, Lambent Foundation, Arts Collaboratory, and the Astraea Lesbian Justice Foundation. Todd holds a Masters of Public Administration from Rutgers University and is a graduate of the Refugee Studies Centre's Summer School in Forced Migration at Oxford University. Todd received the Peace Corps Fund Award for his work starting freeDimensional; was named 'Architect of the Future' by the Waldzell Institute in 2008; and serves as a Senior Fellow at the World Policy Institute where he is the focal point on issues of art and policy.

What to expect!?
We announced an open-format event - which means we are not sure what will happen ! Be prepared to be surprised you lear at every Open Space session.
We have a facilitator, Farah Lenser who has done some events before: [link]

Maybe see PLAN C of ietm (PDF) and check this link of PAN C in this blog
We do sometimes Anna-Lindh-Salons in Berlin and esewhere so maybe the setting is right for a salon style event, we will see: [link]

To get deeper into the matter of Dialog and Participation, Deliberation, Encounters and event Multi-track Diplomacy I invite you to go to Backgroundpapers and visit the website: 21stCentury Agoga

Some more personal musing by Heiner Benking: (late-night fumblings) our objective is: with an aim to further understand and articulate what is the meaning and value of „art in service“.

I am eager to attend as a participant as I feel the issues is very important for me. What is the role of arts, bridging the exact and fine arts and reaching into society and cultures towards peace beyond the need to agree!
I remember vaguely Franz Marc: "Pictures are arriving at another place" - so what do we do with arts other than exercising "mental mobiity" and creating and embdying something that matters and helps reaching mount awareness. I feel thrilled as we have to do this more in daily life, not just in peace-making.

If you go deeper into mediation and peacemaking you see that participants / stakeholders need to only to negotiate the terrain of meanings, but also of their specific wordings, positions, and perspectives, negotiate the frames and metaphors which are very culture sensitive.
My experience is - very much close to Margeaux: "Values without context are meaningless" that also Concepts and Frames of Mind when not put into context are meaningless. Even more Values, Concepts, Frames lead to confusion and fighting when not put into context - AND even more so, when the position and angle from which a statement is made is not clear. In short the issues have to be made explicit, have to be made solid or tangible. (see: Jean Gebser).
Here I feel ARTS have to come in. They imagine and create futures, they embody, or make solid what is not yet there, not real before realization. Just in the sense of Franz Marc: "pictures are arriving at another place". Artists create not just pictures, but design objects and installations and performances, even drama to make issues real to make people confront what some tend to ignore !
Here we come to a central stumbling block: The concept of "Space" in the western cultures, you see it even in our thinking in writing. See Knowmap: "Spatial versus Spacial" and "KnowMap" setting References and Schow or Schau? in German more on "Welt" - having Artits creat something new and meaningful, so it is relevant and matters for social and cultural sculptures ! & see Joseph Beuys

In a nutshell: I always felt Communication and Conversations are the arts of the arts as I wrote around mental mobility and shanging viewpoints. But the arts of the arts are more, they have not only to communicate, but to create, embody, perform, share and have people immmerse, the genuin playground of the performative arts.

"Ich will meinen Geist formen, nicht möblieren. Ich will ihn weiten, nicht vollstopfen." (Montaigne)

so our title is ART IN SERVICE:: - interrogating social practice
and what arts have to offer: what is their USP - unique service proposition !?

For me a test would be to ask ART to fulfill the demand for old and new competences and capacities we need to meet modern gargantuan challenges as outlined UNESCO- Education for Sustainability projects: Examples?:

1. To create knowledge in a spirit of openness to the world, integrating new perspectives
2. To think and act in a forward looking manner
3. To acquire knowledge and act in an interdisciplinary manner
4. To be able to plan and act in cooperation with others
5. To be able to participate in decision-making processes
6. To be able to motivate others to become active
7. To be able to reflect upon one’s own principles and those of others
8. To be able to plan and act autonomously
9. To be able to show empathy for and solidarity with the disadvantaged
10. To be able to motivate oneself to become active

What a GESTALTUNGS-Challenge ! but lets us see how arts can be of SERVICE !
[more] (PDF) [link]
The figures of the 10 competences have been created by TRANSFER 21 - check it out:


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