CAN SPEAKING TRUTH TO POWER UNRAVEL
THE AGE OF DISILLUSION WE FIND OURSELVES IN?
ABOUT SPEAKING TRUTH | SUMMIT X
Truth and its nature have long been foundational to the pursuit of artistic expression and understanding. Legendary science fiction author Octavia E. Butler held truth central to her work, “Clarity and truth will be plenty, if I can only achieve them.” Prominent poet and civil rights activist Maya Angelou believed that “There’s a world of difference between truth and facts. Facts can obscure truth.”
As fierce debates about the nature of truth rage on globally, Speaking Truth | Summit X explores radical truth-telling and its implications, manifestations, potentialities, and challenges across disparate yet interconnected fields. The central question we pose at this year’s convening is:
Our relation to truth is complex, intersectional, and urgent. Public intellectuals have argued that the society of the 2010s is one in which it is no longer possible to distinguish between the factual and the imagined, reality, and simulacra. What is the nature of truth as we now see it presented as a subjective rather than objective condition? How has the growing distrust of the media, institutions, and authorities affected our ability to distinguish between the real and the fake? And how have artists responded in turn?
These questions are being addressed throughout the Summit by those working within proliferating technology and the dark side of automatization and surveillance, global health through the lens of gender and class inequality, self-determination of those serving invisible economies, Indigenous populations asserting sovereignty in the face of erasure, as well as the media at the nexus of fictions, facts and deceptions. The Summit aims to be a mirror reflecting and magnifying the peculiarities of the post-truth condition, as well as a forum of debate that can offer audiences an unparalleled opportunity to better understand the cultural and political situation, while convening to envision the future.
2019 is a milestone year for the Summit, as we mark 10 years of the convening by returning to New York City, where it first began. Gathering at The Great Hall, Cooper Union where the second ever Summit was held in 2010, acknowledges the Summit’s history and the hall’s legacy as a locus for debate, political action, and truth-telling. Upon founding The Cooper Union, Peter Cooper said, “I trust the young will here catch the inspiration of truth in all its native power and beauty, and find in it a source of inexpressible pleasure to spread its transformed influence throughout the world.” We are honored to take the stage at The Great Hall and activate the East Village, a nexus for generations of grassroots organizing and action, and look forward to welcoming you in November.
SETTING THE STAGE WITH CHRISTOPHER MYERS
Each year, Creative Time invites an artist to design the Summit stage environment. Inspired by the evolution over the last decade of Summit convenings, Christopher Myers will incorporate his rich and vibrant tapestries that evoke historical narratives into the stage design. Myers is an artist and writer who lives in New York, and is widely acclaimed for his literature for young people, including titles such as H.O.R.S.E, Firebird, and My Pen. He has also lectured and exhibited internationally, including at Fort Gansevoort, the Kochi Biennial, MoMA PS1, and The Studio Museum Harlem.
MAKING ANOTHER WORLD POSSIBLE:
10 Creative Time Summits, 10 Global Issues, 100 Art Projects
Edited by Corina L. Apostol and Nato Thompson. Published by Routledge.
Coming this November, a three part book will take stock of socially engaged cultural practices dealing with the urgencies of contemporary social movements. Complete with a selected timeline of socially engaged art since the end of WW2 by Russian collective Chto Delat, the book offers a review of current state of the field, a dive into ten global issues through commissioned essays, and showcases one hundred inspiring artistic projects from around the world.