The second book in Chicken John Rinaldi’s thesis on art, civic engagement and messy collaborative artworks.
Five years ago I wrote The Book of the Is – a how-to manual and philosophical clusterfuck for people who want to live their life as art.
To do that you have to embrace Chaos, understand that there are no consequences, and calibrate to failure as successes more interesting and attractive twin.
Now it’s time for the Book of the Un – a how-to manual and philosophical tour de force for collaborative arts organizations in the new millennium. This book is about the Control you need, as an organization, to unleash the Chaos that lets people make the kind of art that can change the world.
We’re in a “Movement of Movements.” Festivals are springing up like summer weeds; arts collaboratives are emerging as a potent force; people are actually taking Burning Man seriously. And they should! Something amazing is happening. But most of these groups fail. Not just their art, but as organizations. The new millennium calls for a new kind of arts organization, but most groups keep applying the models that didn’t even work 50 years ago, and they collapse.
That’s not the kind of failure we need.
The Book of the Un is about how we apply Control to Chaos and do better. About how we get an artists’ constitution, an artists’ democracy, sovereign outside of governments bound by lines on maps. We need a global thesis, rooted in art, that supersedes petty kings and commodities. We need a way to make money work for us while thinking outside of commerce.