Necessity by design
Getting our priorities right
Is there really space for art in our world while famine caused by war, wilful exploitation and extermination of peoples and creatures goes on seemingly unimpeded? And in the meantime, our planet is ravaged by individuals bent on profit?
Wouldn’t it be better to fix all these problems first and then get back to aesthetics and philosophy?
If a gun is pointed in your direction, by a person who is shouting instructions, in order to avoid certain death, you do as you are told. However, as soon as the barrel of the gun points away from you, a re-evaluation of the situation is likely. And escaping the situation will consume you. It is unlikely that you will continue to follow the instructions of the gunman once you have managed to remove yourself from danger. Violence does not persuade people to change their ways. It only interrupts them and afterwards they invariably return to what they knew before.
You dont’t need to fight with fire
With art and design there is no coercion. It might not always be to your taste, but you can appreciate it or perhaps it is even dangerously good. Making beautiful inspirational things is just one of the human achievements from history we can reflect on without shame. While violence continued through the ages, there were always people who imagined beauty and shared it with others.
Art and design can change your perspectives, your dreams, your life. It can set the tone, for a better life. A tone that does not ebb away but that can grow and develop. It has the potential to set a new course for your thinking. Art and design opens a dialogue that does not interrupt, that does not silence, that does not hamper. Art and design enrich our lives. They persuade us softly to look more kindly at each other, more kindly at fauna and flora, more kindly.
So, as every other attempt to rid our world of wilfulness has failed for millennia, perhaps we should let art and design lead the way. Necessity by design.