At a recent Journal meeting with my co-editors, Christina Ulke and Robby Herbst, we were considering how the current climate would affect our work. While some of our ideals would imagine no substantive change with the recent election, we agreed optimistically to assume otherwise (I mean, Echo Park had a really good street party election night, which is distinct but not entirely unprecedented; this enthusiasm alone is something optimistic). Seizing this long moment, we thought, involved asking what a progressive social practice would look like 4 years down the road, 6 1/2 years, or more, and that we should start acting that way today.

We figure, like many around us, that our efforts at researching, investigating, and creating grassroots culture (note the two verbs before creating because rarely can an art project or any singular scene for that matter constitute communityhere too) and activating said groups will continue to be a central project, made more so by the new administration’s call to lead them to water.

Mark Rodriguez, Devendra and Civil War Reenactors, 2008. JOA&P

Image by Mark Rodriguez. Devendra and Civil War Re-enactors

Over the course of my stay here, I started imagining an agenda of outlining, in practice and experience, the 7 forms through which cultural change is advanced. This list is made up to include posts on the aesthetic sphere, the relational sphere, the organizing sphere, the social sphere, the institutional sphere plus 2 more I hadn’t yet written… seven’s such a solid number. It was to be a bold piece of writing.

I thought then to write only about precursors to art and cultural projects, as this past weekend brought me to several art spaces in transition but no actual openings. I don’t actually know if this will be the plan, but that’s a good image on which to leave. At the moment, I am into what makes things tick in terms of bringing out the now and in terms of how to plan for the future.