The G(k)NOT Project – Provoking (deep) Conversations

“We have to face the fact that either all of us are going to die together or we are going to learn to live together, and if we are to live together we have to talk.” ― Eleanor Roosevelt

load_fun2013It all started in August 2012 at Station North Arts Cafe (SNAC), when co-owner  Kevin Brown and filmmaker Jude Lombardi had a conversation about the meaning of the term gentrification. A conversation provoked by an article in the City Paper about  shutting down of the Load of Fun an artist space located in Baltimore City, USA. (1)

“Dialectics: Religions and Philosophies attempt to make humans aware of  ‘a world’; dialectics attempt to make humans responsible for a world.” Herbert Brün

We want to provoke deep conversations so that we might turn together in ways that generate something new.

Deep conversation begins with a dialectic that embraces our differences so that something unique might emerge. Deep conversation begins with asynchronicity when turning together in our tensions, conflicts and differences as we glide and guide our turbulence toward synchronicity. (2)

“Conflict can destroy movements. We need to fight the system, not each other.” — Erica Gardner

davis at occupyWhen addressing Occupy Wall Street in 2011, Angela Davis asked: “How can we be together in a community that respects and celebrates the differences among us? How can we be together in a unity that is not simplistic, that is not oppressive, BUT rather complex and emancipatory? Our unity must be complex and emancipatory.” She then evoked the words of the Black, Lesbian, Feminist Audre Lorde:

“Differences must not be merely tolerated BUT seen as a fund of polarities between which our creativity can spark like a dialectic.” — Audre Lorde

We want to collaborate so that (we) can together design alternative sustainable communities.

We know that variety and viability are vital. Diversity, participation-by-all, and collaboration are essentials for this project to work. We also know that in diverse groups, conflict, tension and disagreement are more likely to emerge. So we hope to nest (our) conflicts, tensions, differences, etc. in a premise that assumes peace is a need.

Sentences Now Open Wide ( Herbert Brün)

Do not try to tell us
Whoever you are
Whoever we may be
Do not try to tell us our needs
Ask us to tell you
To tell you as well as we can tell
what we think we need
Make us tell you
Create the context wherein we would be articulate
Create the necessary context wherein
Whatever we happen to say
by words
and if we find no words
by screams
and if we cannot scream
by gesture
and if even gestures are out of our reach
by the manifestation of our mere existence
Where the fact that we are objects
Though we need to be subjects
Tells you the need which we need to know
Even if you now know it before we do. (3)

When peace is a need conflict is a necessity that invites deep conversations to emerge.

We want to create spaces where conflict is a necessity and conversations deep.

So how do we change our attitudes about (our) tensions, conflicts and disagreements so that they may become dialectic opportunities for generating newness? One possibility: cybernetics. (5)


Station North, a neighborhood worth caring about?

Letter to the Editor City Paper
3 Needs Wants and Desires
4 When peace is a need
5 What is cybernetics?

5 Responses to about

  1. alasanon says:

    Gentrification is a type of ethnic cleansing, done by the Haves against the Have Nots.

    Don’t quote OWS, while you participate in mollifying wholesale colonization by monied interests. That’s pure villainy.

    • genknot says:

      We don’t disagree — the project is about generating spaces to converse about how to PREVENT gentrification NOT promote it. What’s wrong with that? Please tell me I want to know. Am I missing something here?

      • Waverly says:

        Fortunately or unfortunately, this train has left the station (pun intended) in terms of the positioning, business participation and patronage of Station Arts North. It is, what is it. A larger question may be – why are there no arts districts being planned in black neighborhoods in Baltimore? Station Arts North is a text book example of the viability of “community building through the arts” a concept explored and written about extensively by the economist, Richard Florida, (Rise of the Creative Class, 2002). Why are there no movements and support for any existing movements to promote black communities of artists within a geographical area that encourages cohesive economic and community development ? And, WHY it is that the entire black community of East Baltimore was redlined (yes, the color red was used) out of the Heritage Area District Map, an important legislation that has allowed for the funding of feasibility studies and arts organization start up funds that gave birth to Station Arts North?

        While you efforts to explore gentrification of Station Arts North is laudable, your talents and time may be better served in building a black arts presence where it is most needed – black neighborhoods. Build it and they will come…

      • genknot says:

        Thanks for the post.

        I disagree with your premise that it is too late to act in Station North. As a white woman I do not feel it is appropriate for me to go into a Black community and organize anything.

        I do want to collaborate and work with diverse groups of people and support the historical preservation of the Greenmount West community in the Station North Arts District. I am willing to help make this happen if and when asked by people living IN Greenmount West to do so. Maybe you know some Black artists in Station North interested in collaborating on this project? If so I would love to connect….

    • genknot says:

      SPEAK-UP somebody I know you are feeling this.

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