Chronicling the Bottom Up
Connection Revolution

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Arlene Goldbard: Art and Story As Activism, Awakener and Change Catalyst


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Broadcast 4/17/2014 at 16:27:00 (0 Listens, 0 Downloads, 0 Itunes)
The Rob Kall Bottom Up Radio Show Podcast

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Arlene Goldbard is a writer, speaker, social activist, and consultant who works for justice, compassion and honor in every sphere, from the interpersonal to the transnational.

Her books include Crossroads: Reflections on the Politics of Culture; New Creative Community: The Art of Cultural Development; Community, Culture and Globalization;  and her novels, Clarity and The Wave.

it was her new book, The Culture of Possibility: Art, Artists & The Future that inspired me to invite her to be a guest on this show. 

Rough Notes from the Interview , mostly my questions.

Rob; You said, "Throughout my life, when I ask myself where I have felt most whole and present, most connected, the answers are infused with the multidimensional force of art."

Rob: What do you mean by culture and connection?

What are your thoughts about  connection disconnection.

Paolo Freire talks about the thematic universe. 

After you talk about Friere's thematic universe, you talk about Datastan and the Republic of stories. What's that about?

Datastan-- old  order-- machines as model for human interaction

Republic of Stories-- new order--  end of time where we are treated like widgets

Rob: I see stories as having affected the evolution of our brains and have been with us since the beginning. So I'm confused when you say that the Republic of Stories is the new paradigm.

Rob: the transition from top-down to bottom-up is enabling people to tell their stories, by twitter, blogs, etc, rather than just a handful of people having access, like it was when only a few networks had the opportunity. 

Rob You mentioned that you are seeing people who see the truth about what's emerging and then shut down. 

National Endowment for the Arts funding, down in real dollars from $480 to $140 since 1980. 

War and prison allocations funded  far more than cultural applications. 

When you say we are going to introduce "this" into our conversation, what is "this?"

Everyone who can buy their way out of Datastan does."

Rob: What do they get when they buy their way out of datastan?

P 24 quote: What do you mean by social connective tissue. 

Rob Your description of how a person is treated just brought me to tears., it's such a different, holistic, embracing way. There's so much money invested in maintaining the old, Datastan, industrial complex system. How do you see it being replaced. 

the switch that will toggle us into the new reality-- the realization that there are a zillion more of us than there are of them.  There's just so many ways to look at people people power in 20th and 21st  century.


Your book, which I love, spends a lot of time talking about art and how it can change the way we look at our culture and how we can change our culture. 

"It's not the three Rs. It's ".. art skills. 

"I'm particularly focused on imagination and empathy."

I would argue that the short film has become the primary lingua franca in political discussion. 

Rob: Your book discusses 28 different reasons to pursue the public interest in art.

YOur answer is the arts. Do you have to have a degree in fine arts, or play an instrument?

Almost universally is-- singing in a choir, knitting, gardening, humming to ourselves, taking photos. 

Rob: You're doing a lot of speaking around the country. Why do people bring you speak? What are their goals. What do they want to get out of it?

Rob: Consensus reality is top down, enabled by decentralized self censorship. Your book discusses at length how art can disconnect people from consensus reality. 

Rob: Talk to me about story and your view of how story fits into your view of change and making a better world. 

golden rule, story circle

Rob: You talk about Awareness of cultural citizenship and aspiration to inhabit it fully. 

Rob: You talk about connectivity--  person to person horizontal relationships that create community. 

return on investment of art programs. 

What you've conveyed so eloquently, beautifully and powerfully is the way that art  and story can wake people up an make change happen in ways so different from the usual kind of activism-- protest, civil disobedience, petitions, etc. 

The operating system is how we see each other as citizens of the world and how we relate  with other people. 

and you describe discrimination as malware. 

If your book and lecture tour are fabulously successful, what will happen?

We need to give this paradigm shift attention that is commensurate with its full value. 

Let's talk about hierarchy. 

Intrinsic to democracy is citizen participation". 

seat of their pants (street smarts) local  knowledge

Chaos and non-linear dynamic-- 

They say that the law of unintended consequences is the only law that is never broken. 

all solutions are to be ad hoc, to be tried out, that we have to welcome mistakes. 

connecting between culture and civilization-- thinking about indigenous cultures. 

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Rob Kall is the host of the Rob Kall Bottom Up Radio Show, WNJC 1360, where he discusses how the bottom up mind and bottom up revolution are reaching different areas of the world, of life, of politics, business, society and anywhere else.

Rob is founder and site architect of (more...)

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