Miki, who along with Christine I met at Carrying the Fire where they were doing their Travelling Hearth project, asked me to post this, promoting Merz DIY this summer. It’s an opportunity to experiment with being thinkers, builders, dwellers. I should think the stuff on Let’s Remake might be useful.
Pop-Up Repair is opening this Saturday, June 1st! You should all receive an email from us shortly with the details. I am wondering whether you all would be willing to post on your sites/email lists/facebook pages, and generally keep spreading the word?
Just in case the email doesn’t come to you for some reason, the basic info is below. Feel free to edit as you see fit. (Though the official email is much prettier, should come in an hour or so!)
Thank you for all your help, you guys have been amazing!
Saturday June 1st, Pop-Up Repair will open at 4975 Broadway (at Isham). We will run for 4 weeks only, Tuesdays – Sundays 10 am – 7pm.
We will fix household items of all kinds: bring your broken stuff!
This Saturday, we will also be at the Inwood Greenmarket, doing Free Quick Fixes: Buttons, Belts, and Books from 9:30 – 2.
We also have 3 free workshops this month: Books, Musical Instruments, and LCD Screens. Learn to fix your own stuff with an expert!
Today, 4 May, is the final day of Slow Down London – a ten-day festival to get people to slooooow dowwwnnnnn. Personally, I walk fast, talk fast and do stuff fast, but that’s because I love things that are intense – but that is not truly at odds with the premise of Slow Down London, which is a good one:
“Slow Down London is a new project to inspire Londoners to improve their lives by slowing down to do things well, rather than as fast as possible.”
The point is to consciously and deliberately appreciate stuff – all stuff. From our bodies, minds, creativity, each other, life itself, the world around us and establish a deeper appreciation of time itself.
And it got me thinking. … doing things well requires rigour and thought and that takes time… But political, social and environmental changes happen relatively fast and need practical responses.
So here is a problem that faces me and probably you too: how do we as individuals and a society get a strong balance between this point ‘to slow things down so you can do them well’ and the political point ‘philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways, the point, however, is to change it?’*
The arts need to consider this as much as ever before – perhaps more. How can the soft skills and soft power of the arts be shared more widely and do they have practical application? What do the arts do well? What could the arts do better? For example, should visual art be more democratic and what would cultural democracy look like?
It’s not a problem if you missed the Slow Down London festival – because it is a campaign that highlights that London is full of brilliant slow things…
The Slow Down London campaign will hold a festival (24 April – 4 May 2009) offering activities and inspiration, through working with a range of partners. It will give Londoners a chance to explore slow music and arts, to try meditation and yoga, to sample slow food and crafts, to discover ’slow travel’ in our own city, to debate ideas about time and pace, and to find our own ways to challenge the cult of speed and to appreciate the world around us. You can view the full event programme here: slow-down-london-events-programme
* I heard this Marx quote again yesterday, when my iPod shuffled to an old version of the BBCs In Our Time (2005) featuring Karl Marx as winning the ‘greatest philosopher’ vote, here’s the link.