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Steve Wright

Perhaps we should instead be thinking of how we can STOP culture from "shaping" the "21st century". Cultures are local solutions. It often spells trouble when we try to apply them globally or to whole centuries. Perhaps it would be better to not to treat cultures with too much respect - especially our own culture, whatever it be.

Markus Miessen

Malfunction as the Crucial Mode of Experiment
By Markus Miessen

“Fail. Fail Again. Fail Better.” (Samuel Beckett)


Nightmare 1

In his memoir, Hand to Mouth: A Chronicle of Early Failure, the American post-modern novelist Paul Auster clarifies his understanding of failure by stating that in his late twenties and early thirties, he went through a period of several years when everything he touched turned to failure .


Temporary relief

As Colin MacCabe noted at a conference titled “The Value of Failure”, at Tate Modern in June 2005, “success has become one of the key terms by which people evaluate their own and other lives”. Interestingly, when MacCabe refers to failure, he posits it as a crucial component of both the development of knowledge in science and of creative experimentation in the arts and ends on the question to which degree contemporary society demands success and what happens when, in contemporary Britain (and indeed Europe), both public and private funding for projects in the cultural and educational sectors becomes increasingly success oriented.


Nightmare 2

Imagine one was to see the world through technocratic goggles of failure analysis. Backed up by the comforting environment of Structuralist certainty, this is actually pretty simple: you would start your analysis by determining both the mechanism and the root cause of failure in order to implement a corrective action. Therefore, you will proportionally raise your track-record of ‘success’ over time.


The idea of success

In contemporary social structures, success is being read as the linear link to prosperity. In MacCabe’s words “success dominates because of its part in the global evaluation of the good life in terms of money”. Hence, failure has become the unthinkable, the semantic confirmation of poverty. Looking at the current production of space and, indeed, the art world, one contentedly realises that creative production and failure come along as an inseparable couple. That might be true of almost any industry or economy, of course, but it seems that, at least in current cultural discourse, the value of failure is being put forward as an alternative idea of success. Now, within such regime of production, one might argue that the realisation of ‘failure as the fundamental condition of surprise’ is of course nothing new, but a good one to build upon. What needs to be stressed is the fact that we have moved away, at least in creative production, from the reference-model of the final product; fortunately, such notion is, today, often replaced by cultural laboratories in which the proto-product–in other words the process towards X–and its failure is valued as knowledge production and embodies precisely the laboratory for experiment that provides, after all, interesting and challenging work. If one was to understand experiment as a vital ingredient that contributed to the cultural gravitas of spatial production, one has to coercively admit to the value of failure. Hence, the societal norm of success as the only way forward needs to be reviewed.


Think about Thinking

Thinking about failure from the point of view of process, the most counter-productive thing that can happen is to let the fear of failure prevent one from ever doing anything. It is the act of production that allows us to revise, tweak, rethink and change. Along the lines of re-inventing oneself, it also opens a space of uncertainty that often produces knowledge and content by surprise. If one’s priority is to resist failure at all costs, the potential of surprise is never played out. This is why in a lot of fields and disciplines today the results of certain investigations and inventions have become predictable and the outcome of a vast majority of creative and artistic output is is both conventional and mediocre. To take a risk means not being able to pre-empt the outcome of an investigation, but consciously allow for processes to fail.

John Rooney

BioFirewalls

It is 52 years since the discovery of DNA. Since that time, there have been many developments in the understanding and mapping of the double helix.
Technology has developed along side this new science, with computers developing sentient attributes through Bio Technology.

DNA is made up from four base elements: Adenine, Cytosine, Guanine and Thymine. Can we, as developers and facilitators of the a organic technology stand aside while these elements are now open to invasion from these technologies.

Is it possible to develop a new, organic firewall to match the settings that keep our internet connections safe. Identity theft is rife, we must not be passive when the possibility of idenity theft can occur at cellular level. This micro level of security may at first seem paranoid, however, remember when the government claimed it was not possible for a human to catch BSE? We must be diligent at this divergence in technology.

John Reed

I work for the Muse Foundation on re-inventing the self-portrait and would like to get some public/audience feedback on the 100 ideas series. We'd like to hear your thoughts about the series, or a specific event, and how culture and the arts are important to your life. If you are available in London please do get in touch, telling us something about what you do and what you care about in life.

John@LondonMuse.com

LeOgAhEr

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Steve Potatoes

The connections between the avant-guard and marxist-lenninist theories are less complicated than the connections between marxist-lennist theories and the class struggle itself.

cash quick

We might begin by asking ourselves just why education deserves such a high priority - whether or not we are heading for a radically different society.
Moreover, good educational provision, from earliest school through the school years and to learning through adulthood is the basis for a healthy, stable and successful society. It is the basis for democracy, for the transmission of moral, ethical and cultural values, and for minimising social exclusion.

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sanya

we dream those dreams about them we think whole day & night and they have their own meaning can say deep meaning.

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