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Who Turned On All These Lights?

It just got a little brighter around here, didn’t it? Just a month shy of Mind the Gap’s 3-year anniversary, the refresh is a welcome reminder of how far we’ve come here at the intersection of the performing arts, pop culture, and technology, and the interesting new things that continue to pop up every day. Personally, I’m pretty sure my non-computer-owning self circa 1995 would find it impossibly bizarre to see my current life in which I am rarely separated from my laptop, my iPhone, my Kindle (perhaps I just never read enough sci-fi as a kid). The technological changes that have struck each of us in our own lives have amplified out across the field, challenging and inspiring artists and audiences in amazing ways.

When it comes to the blog, I never would have anticipated that there would be this much to type about or that I would have connected with so many fascinating people and ideas because of it. For the past 24 hours, I’ve seen quite a few celebrations of JR, the French street artist and 2011 TED Prize winner. I’ve been busy and almost missed this astounding talk on the power of paper and glue. JR is charming and very smart, and I don’t think you’ll want to skip this one. It’s a powerful reminder of how art can force people to think in new ways and, in spite of any suspicion of the cliche, really can change the world.

Fair warning, though, that JR isn’t letting his audience off with just a warm and fuzzy feeling. His “wish” (the point of these TED awards) is for us all to participate in a public art project: “What we see changes who we are,” he reminds us. “When we act together, the whole thing is much more than the sum of the parts.”



an ArtsJournal blog