SOCIAL ARTISTRY: A SIMPLE ANSWER IN COMPLEX SOCIETIES
The world is becoming increasingly complex and chaotic, with modernism co-existing with post-modernism; construction co-existing with deconstruction; and traditional institutions and bureaucracy co-existing with non-traditional, emerging institutions such as blogs, social media, and online communities.
Dr. Jean Houston has created one bridge for this complexity: social artistry. Social artistry is based on integrating new forms of leadership and creativity into the old institutions of society. It encourages all individuals, regardless of their “job” or “profession” to treat their work as though they were artists; to bring their deep inward expression to the canvas of their social contribution.
According to Dr. Jean Houston, “The social artist is one who brings the focus, perspective, skills, tireless dedication and fresh vision of the artist to the social arena. Thus the social artist’s medium is the human community. She or he seeks innovative solutions to troubling conditions, is a lifelong learner ever hungry for insights, skills, imaginative ideas and deeper understanding of present-day issues. Above all, the social artist is one who is always extending their own human capacities in the light of social complexity.”
Social artists are focused on intentional or conscious evolution, where humans co-create a chosen future of ideal outcomes.
Barbara Marx Hubbard is a futurist whose work is based on the concept of conscious evolution. In her seminal work on the topic, she writes, “Conscious evolution is occurring in our generation because we are now gaining an understanding of the processes of nature…We are now changing our understanding of how nature evolves; we are moving from unconscious evolution through natural selection to conscious evolution by choice.” (Conscious Evolution: Awakening the Power of Our Social Potential, Novato: California, New World Library, 1998, pp.7-8).
Therefore, humans have evolved to the point that we now understand how nature works. We are able to use our scientific, technological, collaborative and creative capacities to co-create with nature and form the future that we want.
According to Hubbard, “The capacity for conscious evolution means that our species has become capable of understanding and resonating with the processes of creation itself” (Conscious Evolution: Awakening the Power of Our Social Potential, Novato: California, New World Library, 1998, p.59).
There are two simple points to be made here:
1. We all need to spend time clarifying the exact kind of future we want to create, personally, socially and globally.
2. We then need to approach the co-creation of that future as though we are artists, creating a work of art out of our lives and our Earth.