Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Shape of Change

The Shape of Change is an expanded sculpture project, investigating Iraqi and American concepts of political change, independence and civic agency. People across both countries are answering questions ranging from the meaning of democracy to the importance of national identity. Answers will be collected in an open source data base and interpreted in several ways: as online data visualizations, physical sculptures, and a series of dialogues between paired Iraqi and American cities. Data will be publicly available for collaborations between Iraqi and American artists. As content evolves in response to political events, artistic renderings of the data will function as evolving representations of change.

The theme of change was ubiquitous throughout the US presidential campaign, and now that a new American president and many new regional Iraqi leaders have been elected, the need to discuss what political change actually means is imperative. The piece will explore if/how these concepts differ across cultures, and how desire for them is manifested or displaced.

If you are interested in the project, you can read more information here and fill out the questionnaire here. Pass the request along to people in as many different locations with as many different view points as you can.

Shape of Change Questions

  1. In the current US elections, both political parties and voters across the country have cited the need for change, but people are seldom specific about what they feel change means. How do you define political change?
  2. What do you feel would constitute meaningful change in your country? Do you feel this is possible?
  3. What changes do you feel are required to improve the relationship between Iraq and the United States?
  4. What do you feel constitutes true independence?
  5. What do you feel needs to happen for Iraq and the United States to be fully independent of each other and when will you know that this has been achieved?
  6. What do you feel constitutes true individual freedom? Do you feel this is possible in a democratic society?
  7. Are you free to exercise choice in your life? Do you feel you have the ability to choose between meaningfully different political options in your country? If not, how might this situation be improved?
  8. Do individuals have a political voice in your country? Do you enjoy freedom of expression? Do you feel that expression should ever be curtailed by government?
  9. What is the potential for individuals to affect political change where you are?
  10. Is national identity important and/or necessary? How would you describe your nation’s identity? Is it defined in relation to other countries?
  11. What do you feel is the meaning of the word democracy?
  12. What country and what part of that country are you from?

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