In August heat over lemonade on the Open Field, our department began talking with Steve Dietz of Northern Spark.mn about what it takes to create a place for the public.
Over the last two summers, the grassy expanse between Vineland Place and Groveland Terrace has evolved into a park celebrating the creative assets and collective knowledge that abound in the Twin Cities. The evolution of Open Field relates to ongoing questions stemming from our work and the world around us (e.g., heightened political poles, the Occupy Movement, Arab Spring):
How do we foster public(s)?
What is needed to create a space for members of the public to engage?
What is the role of a cultural center in relationship to a city?
What is needed for a cultural commons?
How do we foster a space for difference of opinion, for critical dialogue and debate?
Since the summer, we’ve been in conversation to define and unpack the idea of agonism—the frictive rub in between antagonism and consensus. The question of how agonism functions—how it’s structured, invited, and propelled—is the subject of Discourse and Discord: Architecture of Agonism from the Kitchen Table to the City Street, an upcoming public symposium from April 12 – 14 copresented by the Walker and Norther Lights.mn.
Set your calendar, and stay tuned online for an unfolding introduction to agonism.