JR and the Heart of an Emerging World Culture

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The central ideas in Jeremy's article Egypt, Transformation, and the Signs of the Planetary Culture continue to resonate for me. When I saw this TED talk with the artist JR, I couldn't help but think about this idea of an emerging world culture. JR's art and global actions in this video seems to speak to a deepening global-centered moral sensibility, at least in JR anyway.  I was also intrigued, especially in light of discussions in the comment thread of Jeremy's piece, by the simultaneous interaction of the global and the local in JR's work. In one sense there's a powerful focus on seeing people in all their specificity, in their unique expression of humanity in all its radiant diversity. But at the same time, by embarking on this global art project and bringing to life all the peoples and faces, JR reveals an underlying universal humanity in them all. There's no question that JR is a courageous and original artist, and I was moved by his talk. I plan on taking up his TED Prize wish, but am still mulling over what image I'd like to send to him. If any of our fellow readers takes up his TED Prize challenge, please send in your photos of the final pasted copy and we'll post em here at Beams. JR's website for his TED wish project is found at www.insideoutproject.net.


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  • Comment Link Jennifer Grove Wednesday, 16 March 2011 23:04 posted by Jennifer Grove

    OMG!! This is SO FANTASTIC!! I totally wanna do this!

    Think, think, think, think....

  • Comment Link Jeremy Johnson Sunday, 03 April 2011 07:22 posted by Jeremy Johnson

    Hey Trevor! Thank you for posting this. It was very inspiring! I do think this is helping us unveil a particular aspect of humanity - the simple humanness we are actually less subjected to than the dogma and dividing myths that plague politics and, well, "the powers that be."

    The ability for people to simply see other people, may in itself be, more than any nifty gadgets or high tech, the force that transforms the world. Strange how something so "high tech" is bringing out something so ultimately simple. Human existence itself. Our laughs, cries, smiles and funny faces speak more than any of the technology we developed. It really humbles us, especially in the west, where we often believe that our development is worthy of high-praise itself. Perhaps not. Perhaps technologies, and the ability to do what this man JR did around the world, are means to bring forth what is already in us; agents of love, instruments of the divine; and the divine is nothing so complex as to not be revealed in a stranger's funny face.

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