As the fire continues to cling on the roofs of a fallen empire, the charred black smoke lingers. Desperate bodies wander to find scraps to savour and remnants to rescue. Their aged bones are physically unable to rebuild the mythical glory they once relished 40 years ago. The Kingdom has crumbled. It has been ten years since the impending hit – 9/11- the event that created the first crack in the monumental symbol of wealth, power and security, and where we see for the first time, fear and doubt seeping into the human imagination. It was an American dream, a fallen dream, that was once everyone’s dream that we are seeing beginning to shatter. But what is left?
In the dust and ashes of the decade to follow we see sudden shifts in values and visions. We see the election of the first president of colour, a sudden awareness of global warming, a scaling back of industries, the rise of the global south, and in 2008, a major global economic meltdown. A decade following the first meteorite in the shape of an aeroplane to penetrate psyche of a masses, brings to question: what can we now fathom of the world? Can we accept that dust is dust and now we must build anew?
The fires of the forest continue to burn as nature claims its rightful power over humanity; the remaining debris of many human civilizations that came before lie buried in the Earth. Nature prevails over man once again.
What we see beginning to emerge from the ashes is a new consciousness and awareness of each other in the World and in nature. We see a new generation burning with energy. A generation left to undo, remake and re-imagine a new world that was destroyed by misled visions progress of previous generations. We see an ecological turning and a movement towards traditional forms of pedagogy, craftsmanship and knowledge sharing that was lost in industrialization. But what now that continues to burn are the fires that bring us together.
Around the fire we gather, to keep warm, to provide mutual support for survival. We talk, we share stories, we dream of the past. A new system is emerging one that connects us by Ethernet that creates a model of the human mind and where we search for a collective vision. But there are forces trying to control it. A gripping past of former demons that haunts us.
We believe, we worship the spirit that brings us together, and celebrate the fires that burn within us.
Fire is heat and burning. Fires spread. It lies dormant in hotspots within the Earth, waiting to re-emerge again – connected by a network of embers. When a flame is killed, it can still grow strong again in another time and in another place. Fire moves silently – warming, cooling, sparking and burning. It is a fire of desire that lies within all our hearts. It is a desire that moves between us and that links us. There are no words for this desire that grows and burns. It is a desire that emerges and burns when fuelled and brought together collectively.
In a seeming apocalyptic time of immense change in a collapsed economy for culture as conservative governments around the world demolish the welfare state as uprisings emerge across Europe by disenchanted youth mobilized by social media resisting against high rates of unemployment and an astronomical rise in tuition fees, how do we maintain hope? How do we find space for the desire beyond economic concerns and to find new sustainable models of subsistence? Within a globalized community around the world, there is still a desire to create, and that fire will never die despite any economy or government support. How can we now begin to rebuild from the ashes a new world, a new vision of culture? How will it manifest in flames? How can we begin to spark imagination of new possibilities and utopias to question the structures that have crumbled?
Flames spread. They grow and flare up.
We are a collective of individuals from a generation lost of opportunities, lost in a time of great uncertainty, altering weather patterns, economic structural upheaval, social re-organization through digital innovations and change. Fires of desire is a sparking and ignition of an exploration of new platforms and ideas of collective working to find and create our own visions and possibilities in a world of dwindling finances and hopes for the future.
Founded in 2010, DOXA is an international research collective based in London, UK. Through an on-going project called ‘Creative Space’, DOXA facilitates cross-disciplinary dialogue through open discussion events to approach new visions of culture today in light of the economic crisis, globalization and the digital turn. Through the events, DOXA brings together artists, academics, policy makers and industry professionals to explore new ways of developing and sustaining culture and creativity, while address current developments in policy, society and the economy. Doxa (δόξα) is a common belief, as opposed to knowledge; doxa is associated with community, dialogue and truth.