Saturday, April 15, 2006

THE CIRCUS AS NETWORKED COMMUNITY

The Circus is forever new and forever inclusive - always mindful of talent in the larger context of collaboration and shared purpose.

The Circus provides verifiable and often spectacular proof of its durability as both a ritual-coded celebration and a metaphorical collaborative model.

At core, circus is the world, manifested as physical theater that is always in the act of balancing imagination and gravity.


Above the center ring, on a thin wire, is a clown who balances on one foot. Even this simplest of feats requires attention in every breath to support, and constant adjustment to sustain.

~ Breath • Thought • Movement
~ Stabilize • De-Stabilize • Re-Stabilize
~ Necessity • Choice • Compassion
~ Foresight • Insight • Action

FYI, I launched a website called Telecircus.com in 1994 as an umbrella website for a dozen San Francisco arts organizations. It provided the first online home for Burning Man, The Residents, Clubfoot Orchestra, Anon Salon, and others.

The goal then was to raise a bigger tent of inclusion for local artists, performers and designers, so that others could see the same unique beauty and excellence that they saw. Today, among an even more talented and no less alternative community, that same intention still rings true. Concurrently, we are seeing a dramatic culture-shift in the variety of ways that "user-generated media" is being created and distributed.

In many ways, it's a whole new ballgame for alternative sensibilities who are committed to the techniques of networked collaboration. Our local "burner-centric" community boasts an abundance of the most colorful examples of a new circus inspired tribalism. How do we strengthen and expand the ties that bind us together? What tools do we have at our disposal, and how do we make best use of them? If we say that it is in our hands to unite and create a new future for this bold circus sensibility that is at the heart of our community, then what will it take to do that?

As I see it, that is the topic at hand.

Let me begin, for my part, with some general thoughts on the role of technology, which in this context, is like the catcher in a trapeze act.

IMPROV-NETWORKING: (The Rise of Our Media)

All the while, we are raising this new tent; we must keep an eye out for those gifted and insightful into the uses of new technology. These are the collaborators who can help us power the wave in a multitude of new directions and through a multitude of mediums.

- How information moves has changed (and is changing) profoundly.

- Opinion now shapes marketing. Marketing no longer shapes opinion.

- Marketers are becoming Constituency Managers, who have little choice but to respond to the underground tremors of cultural innovation.

We are a very unique constituency, who are most fortunate in that we are able to navigate through so many wondrous contexts, just in the course of living our daily lives.

If we could raise our presence, and advance the collaborative wave, does it not make sense that more people would awaken to such a vibrant path, and so little by little help infuse our collaborative cultural model with a plethora of jazzy new possibilities?

Lord knows, always room for some new infusin', eh?




Your comments are welcome! Your ideas are essential!

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