After pursuing philosophy in a PhD program for three and a half years (at both Vanderbilt and Penn State), I stepped away from this academic setting, as my work became increasingly more poetic and literary, and felt a less restrictive environment was needed to nourish a more open path of exploration and rigour.
A few years later, I had the chance to teach some classes at MICA, and was inspired by students to take up a daily practice of drawing, and, having borrowed a camcorder, began to continuously document the burgeoning art scene here, and, in addition, began to work (in collaboration) on a series of experimental short videos, that would help to reveal something of the mood and style of an arts-based approach to creating a forum for rich and nuanced dialogue.
Since early 2000, I’ve accumulated a vast archive of content (from theatre and music, to lectures, conversation, exhibitions, etc.), only some of which has been logged, edited, and publicly shared (on my youtube channel).
The time and money necessary for this work to get done has been lacking, and so I do what I can, in such absence, to prepare the ground for a future site, called 3mississippi.com, which will serve as a unique and arts-based approach to fostering dialogue, stemming from a few basic questions (like freedom and slavery; the idea of ownership; and community), with an eye towards the corrective force of speaking openly to one another, tempered by the sense of a child’s voice and inspiration – close as it is to what Aristotle relates as a necessity for wisdom: soft skin.
Such vulnerability is at the heart of conversation; and the arts, in general, arise from this knowledge, and make room for a slow and organically unfolding array of content, which allows for and offers a chance to reflect (from all angles) without quite knowing one’s way round.
It is not unlike piecing together a puzzle without an image in advance to contain it.
Eventually, we’d like to be able to document more, and also produce more of our own content, as well as hiring freelance journalists, film makers, writers, poets, philosophers, scientists, etc. to help fill out this continuously growing and curated vision and archive.
For now, however, the immediate goal is to create a trailer for this project, which will enable us to secure funding necessary to build the (3mississippi.com) web site.