A new interdisciplinary literacy is the only hope for finding a way to square our current arrangement of life with the continuation of human and planetary life as such. Scientists, philosophers, anthropologists, politicians, political theorists, historians, writers, and artists must gather their wisdom, develop a level of mutual literacy, and cross-pollinate their severed lineages.
– Beth Povinelli, Interview for The Signal In Transition
I think there’s a lot of merit in Beth Povinelli’s words about science and the arts and different ways of knowing.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot as momentum builds for this October’s Fun Palaces, the international community-led celebration of arts and sciences.
Fun Palaces can look like cuddly fluffy things, but they’re also events which are serious about acknowledging the talents and understanding which local communities already have. They’re very serious, too, about exploring what it means to say, as their motto does, “everyone an artist, everyone a scientist.”
Those two terms can seem intimidating sometimes. “Artists” and “scientists” sound like privileged, elevated folk compared to you and I – so the way I always put it is this:
If a two-year-old ever handed you an imaginary phone and said “Ring ring”, and you answered it, you’re an artist – because you joined in their creative play.
And if you ever made soup from a recipe, tasted it, and said “needs more salt”, then added some, you’re a scientist – because you revised your belief in the face of evidence.