For a long time I’ve thought of myself as an interventionist artist or artist provocateur (on a very small scale, mind you), but I’ve come to realize lately that my approach, my purpose, and my values are less about needling and provoking and more about inviting and evoking — a more subtle sort of intervention, one that hopes to appeal to human freedom and moral intuition, one that hopes to access the superconscious (the higher self) as opposed to trigger the subconscious (the lower self). Though a more subtle approach, I would suggest that it is more radical and iconoclastic than the traditional provocateur’s approach. I say this because the mindset of the traditional provocateur has much in common with a mindset that found purchase in the West during the scientific revolution. This mindset was founded on a vision of nature, and later of all of reality, including the human, as essentially mechanistic, meaning everything could be manipulated if one could just find the right lever. We have come to design pesticides, animal testing practices, psychotropic drugs, and even social policy based on this mechanistic model. At the freehoodship, however, we seek to establish other, ethically committed, models of reality, yet models that are conscious, so to speak, of their own obsolescence, of their own limitations. We realize that models ought to be the training wheels, not the bicycle.
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