An Open Letter to Artists from 2020 or Bust

I want to say something about the relationship between art and 2020 or Bust, between artists and 2020 or Bust, so that you get at least a hint of what 2020 or Bust is that is distinct, a sense of what it is to which we are offering and inviting you to lend your voice and vision.

We are out to alter not only the conversation in the world in which humanity exists (acts/ thinks/dreams/perceives/relates/works) but to alter the nature of the conversation itself.  To alter the conversation—i.e., to stop saying this and start saying that—is grossly insufficient; we must alter the vocabulary itself, the linguistic architecture/home in which the conversation resides.

Art is such an essential element of this reinvention.  The nature of our current language is static, linear, rigid; it pulls for definition, objectification, polarization, i.e. this or that, me or you, win or lose, enough/not enough…

“A talent for speaking differently rather than arguing well is the chief instrument of cultural change.” — Rorty

Art has the power to reorder life at its genesis, to expose and interrupt the current nature; it has the power to usher in a new order of language, one that is at its core harmonious, not as a function of separate entities getting along (e.g., you-or-me) but as a new order of harmony, of oneness from which unique expressions emerge, of what can be evoked through language and that is beyond language.  The magic of the space between the words, between the movements, between the brush strokes.  The art of language and the dance of it.

This new language will be fluid, lyrical, born of mystery, wonder, and exploration, not certainty, comparison and definition.  It will be a language from the world, in which people have the opportunity to discover themselves as “from the world/from life” rather than how it plays out in the current framework:  “I am what my brain determines me to be within the language of objectification and definition, wherein the world exists out there for that me to live in.”

The invitation to participate with 2020 or Bust, to make 2020 or Bust yours is the opportunity to be one of the artists who will be shaping this new language, this new reality in which humanity can make a new home for itself. A home where people are not separate, where the Earth is not a commodity, where love is not portioned out, where ownership is a matter of responsibility and not possession, where freedom is not  determined by government, where peace is no longer the absence of war, where there is truly a place for all at the table of life.

Yes, we are ending the climate crisis, but not merely to handle that situation.  We are using the opportunity of this crisis to get at what really matters—the nature of humanity itself.  To reinvent the language that gives us what we are/what life is.

In the words of Brecht:  “Art is not a mirror held up to reality but a hammer with which to shape it.”