Living inside infinite hope

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Winter Reflections: Living inside Infinite Hope

Traditions around the world celebrate light during the longest nights of winter—when hope may be most frail, yet most needed. After all, “Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness” [1]. Some winters feel especially dark, the nights especially long.These are transformational, if turbulent, times punctuated by exponential disruptions from climate crisis and catastrophe, radical technological game-changers, and the escalating violence of atrocities and wars. In such times, the churn of transition and the disorientation of change can digress into disappointment, depression, if not despair. This is the moment to echo words frequently attributed to Martin Luther King Jr.: “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.” Indeed, though these times will pass, hope springs eternal [2].My hope for Leonardo is that our work contributes to the vision of building a more vibrant, just, regenerative world. The writer Barbara Kingsolver reminds us in her novel Animal Dreams that “the very least you can do in your life is figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance but live right in it, under its roof” [3].What might it mean for Leonardo to “live inside that hope”? How do we embody hope and infuse creative work with its resonance? This first issue of Leonardo 57 offers space to dwell inside the shelter of hope. Leonardo lives under a roof upheld by its contributors, editors, editorial advisors, and the growing community of scholars, practitioners, and visionaries who share their mind-bending ideas, adventurous experiments, and cross-pollinating collaborations of art, science, and technology.Daria Lanza’s Catharsis series introduces an evolving algorithm of nongeometric, digital art emphasizing improvisation over randomness, as an intermediary between lifeless control and meaningless chaos. It is in this interstitial space between control and chaos where hope finds its home.In “Mapping Cultural Flows through Contemporary Art in Translation,” Zoran Poposki and Marija Todorova explore the capacity of translation to transcend barriers and thereby extend the potential for hope through increased access and cross-cultural connections. Approaching translation in contemporary art as both a motif and method, the authors focus on the case study of the curatorial project Translation(s), curated by Poposki in collaboration with Laurence Wood. How might this inspire an approach of hope as both a motif and a method?One way to consider finding hope as both a pattern and a practice, motif and method, comes from the idea of hopescrolling. I recently learned this wonderful term from Cecilia Conrad, CEO at Lever for Change. Dr. Conrad offers hopescrolling as intentional online immersion scrolling through positive, uplifting, and inspiring content. She shared this strategy as her attempt to resist and replace doomscrolling, excessive time spent scanning negative newsfeeds or browsing disturbing or distressing content, which is increasingly understood to be pervasive yet harmful to mental health and wellness.This new year brings infinite opportunities to live inside infinite hope. Leonardo 57 offers a rich array of content worthy of hopescrolling, as does the work of its contributors, Leonardo/ISAST, and our network of networks across the Leosphere. Thank you for joining us in the season of hope and living inside it, right under its roof.

Winter Reflections: Living inside Infinite Hope

Traditions around the world celebrate light during the longest nights of winter—when hope may be most frail, yet most needed. After all, “Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness” [1]. Some winters feel especially dark, the nights especially long.

These are transformational, if turbulent, times punctuated by exponential disruptions from climate crisis and catastrophe, radical technological game-changers, and the escalating violence of atrocities and wars. In such times, the churn of transition and the disorientation of change can digress into disappointment, depression, if not despair. This is the moment to echo words frequently attributed to Martin Luther King Jr.: “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.” Indeed, though these times will pass, hope springs eternal [2].

My hope for Leonardo is that our work contributes to the vision of building a more vibrant, just, regenerative world. The writer Barbara Kingsolver reminds us in her novel Animal Dreams that “the very least you can do in your life is figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance but live right in it, under its roof” [3].

What might it mean for Leonardo to “live inside that hope”? How do we embody hope and infuse creative work with its resonance? This first issue of Leonardo 57 offers space to dwell inside the shelter of hope. Leonardo lives under a roof upheld by its contributors, editors, editorial advisors, and the growing community of scholars, practitioners, and visionaries who share their mind-bending ideas, adventurous experiments, and cross-pollinating collaborations of art, science, and technology.

Daria Lanza’s Catharsis series introduces an evolving algorithm of nongeometric, digital art emphasizing improvisation over randomness, as an intermediary between lifeless control and meaningless chaos. It is in this interstitial space between control and chaos where hope finds its home.

In “Mapping Cultural Flows through Contemporary Art in Translation,” Zoran Poposki and Marija Todorova explore the capacity of translation to transcend barriers and thereby extend the potential for hope through increased access and cross-cultural connections. Approaching translation in contemporary art as both a motif and method, the authors focus on the case study of the curatorial project Translation(s), curated by Poposki in collaboration with Laurence Wood. How might this inspire an approach of hope as both a motif and a method?

One way to consider finding hope as both a pattern and a practice, motif and method, comes from the idea of hopescrolling. I recently learned this wonderful term from Cecilia Conrad, CEO at Lever for Change. Dr. Conrad offers hopescrolling as intentional online immersion scrolling through positive, uplifting, and inspiring content. She shared this strategy as her attempt to resist and replace doomscrolling, excessive time spent scanning negative newsfeeds or browsing disturbing or distressing content, which is increasingly understood to be pervasive yet harmful to mental health and wellness.

This new year brings infinite opportunities to live inside infinite hope. Leonardo 57 offers a rich array of content worthy of hopescrolling, as does the work of its contributors, Leonardo/ISAST, and our network of networks across the Leosphere. Thank you for joining us in the season of hope and living inside it, right under its roof.

References

  1. Frequently attributed to Reverend Desmond Tutu.
  2. Alexander Pope, “An Essay on Man” in Epistles to a Friend (Epistle II)
  1. Barbara Kingsolver, Animal Dreams: A Novel (New York: Harper Perennial, 1990). Google Scholar

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