….wild is the wind…creative freedom is the seed….
It has been about a year since one of the Regional cells of The Venus Project brought their ideas to my attention. I came across The Zeitgeist when I had that dreadful fight with the horrid 1W in TRAP the real art of protest and used one of their videos to Defend my idea of non-violence (yes, like Gandhi’s Satyagraha) as the ONLY workable solution to long-term sustainability and cultural continuity.
Beyond that I do not know ANYTHING about either project or movement, so imagine when I read this from the Zeitgeist information page, I really just laughed inwardly with a sense of “knowing” after the “ideological divorce” I had the last year!
“The early manifestation of TZM was as a Social Movement to create mass awareness regarding the train of thought that underlies the work of a man named Jacque Fresco – an industrial designer and social engineer who founded an organization called The Venus Project.
However, in early 2011, tensions abruptly emerged from Mr. Fresco and his associate Roxanne Meadows. This eventually generated a split between the two organizations which now operate without each others active influence. It is important to note that there is no opposition between the two organizations.
The differences between the two organizations rest in function & strategy while the broad goal is essentially the same.”
Okay, I think both individuals have clearly had their hearts in the right place and I’ve seen many organisations split and reconstitute because of ideological difference. What I would like to know and understand is, Where is the split in ideas?
That tells me more about the two organisations than it does anything else. I can say from my personal Lobby efforts in the last 2 decades that my split with TRAP was over the issue of : “Non-violence v. Reflecting violence in protest ” AND “Diversity & Grassroot Post-modern sex-positive Feminism v. Top-down Anglo-Stalinist-porn-negative-pro-legislative interventionist Feminism”.
I am sure you can all guess which side of the “divide” I fall on! If not, please READ my other blogs!
So I took a little time to understand who is Roxanne Meadows:
From 1975 to the present, she has worked with renowned futurist Jacque Fresco to develop and promote The Venus Project. The function of this project is to find alternative solutions to the many problems that confront the world today. She participated in the exterior and interior design and construction of the buildings of The Venus Project’s 21-acre research and planning center.
Roxanne Meadows prepared blueprints, models and renderings for various city and other proposals presented by The Venus Project over the last 35 years. Many of these have appeared in numerous newspapers and magazines, as well as on television, in documentaries, movies, websites, and blogs.
She, along with Mr. Fresco, has lectured and conducted seminars throughout the world as a futurist presenting the aims of The Venus Project.
****** Roxanne sounded like she did a lot of the work. Her education is formal & institutional in her background.
And I took a little time to find out who Jacque Fresco is:
Jacque Fresco , is a self-educated structural designer, architectural designer, philosopher of science, concept artist, educator, and futurist. His interests span a wide range of disciplines including several in philosophy, science, Architecture and engineering. Fresco writes and lectures extensively on his view of subjects ranging from the holistic design of sustainable cities, energy efficiency, natural resource management, cybernated technology, advanced automation, and the role of science in society, focusing on the benefits he thinks they may bring. With his colleague, Roxanne Meadows, he is the founder and director of an organization known as The Venus Project, located in Venus, Florida. In contemporary culture he has been popularized by three documentaries, Future By Design,Zeitgeist Addendum, and Zeitgeist: Moving Forward, His Venus Project has been inspirational worldwide, especially to activists.
****They both seemed like their hearts are in the right place and as far as I can see, for me, as a complete outsider, the 21 acres they co-created is actually beautifully designed and rather marvellous in terms of the ideals they co-created.
So my loves, what is the split about? I don’t know, since I don’t know who they are but I remembered in a microcosm how many times I’ve had to issue public statements to say: “Please give us the privacy to sort out our personal differences and please do not take the fight as in any way a personal insults to you or any of the belief you represent. ” Of course, that fell on deaf ears. This caused quite a few paranoid allegations and embittered accusations.
Of course, I am not the same kind of visionary as Jacque or Roxanne because I do not have their kind of millions of followers, so it would not be appropriate for me to even try to guess what happened. But it made me sad when I read about their split because as a microcosm of the Human race, many of us have “been there” before on many levels.
When I read TZM’s explanation of what Roxanne is up to now:
TZM seeks to communicate a Train of Thought with regard to how understanding and applying Scientific Reasoning can improve human society with respect to public heath and societal sustainability. It seeks to generate an educated critical mass globally for the acceptance and implementation of this Train of Thought and hence the self-evident notions for social design that emerge from that logic. This is done through many programs and events, such as Zeitgeist Day, The Zeitgeist Media Festival, monthly Chapter Town-halls, Newsletters, Press Releases, Lectures, Radio shows, Social Networking, targeted Think Tank projects and other mediums.
In their communication, TVP tends to source themselves as the solution and hence operate as an Institution, often claiming intellectual ownership of various ideas of Jacque Fresco. For example, the term and hence definition of a “Resource-Based Economy” was sought for Copyright by TVP in 2010.
TZM does not limit its solution reference to TVP or any single person or institution and also does not claim ownership or origination of any idea promoted. Instead, it focuses on the underling reasoning behind the approach of applying Scientific Efficiency to society, sourcing the whole of scientific inquiry indiscriminately, without the emphasis on any specific institution or figure.
Whereas in The Venus Project’s own video, this is clearly what Jacque is up to:
This video presentation advocates a new socio-economic system, which is updated to present-day knowledge, featuring the life-long work of Social Engineer, Futurist, Inventor and Industrial Designer Jacque Fresco, which he calls a Resource-Based Economy.
The film details the need to outgrow the dated and inefficient methods of politics, law, business, or any other “establishment” notions of human affairs, and use the methods of science, combined with high technology, to provide for the needs of all the world’s people. It is not based on the opinions of the political and financial elite or on illusionary so-called democracies, but on maintaining a dynamic equilibrium with the planet that could ultimately provide abundance for all people.
(CC)’s notes: I do not have to give my personal opinions about either movement or project because I have not spent enough time really weighing up the details of the issue. To my understanding, from seeing all the different well researched NGOs around the world and seeing the way Wangari Mathaai’s points were dealt with by the “powers that be” during COP15 in Copenhagen, I think a science based rebuttal to some of the more abusive strategies used of the world government to hijack and profit from Carbon Trading since the Kyoto Accord is both desperately needed and urgently imperative!
As an artist, I can comment on the “style” of how these two founders of a Project & a Movement express their visions. It seems to be one of Ying/Yang.
It is my personal experience that in creative partnerships, there is a co-emergent period where two complementary creative energies come together and this can Pull a lot of Energy, followers and interests. Incredible things can come of such energy BUT dealing with something like that for me, has always been like dealing with Lightning without a Faraday cage. It is genuinely dangerous on many levels.
One of the danger is that in the course of changing global mass unconscious, people personalise such relations and end up projecting their emotions at the Creative people at the heart of the vortex. ~Then suddenly what started off as a simple creative partnership turns into what Umberto Eco explains as : “being subsumed by hyper-reality”. This is a semiotic analysis of what is essentially a Jungian maṇḍala theory of human consciousness. It unites both science and esoteric philosophies e.g like Alchemy was the common beginning for both the scientific methods and different schools of esoteric philosophy (including what evolved into modern-day Psychology & Psychiatry). Once there, the individuals probably do not even realised their lives are no longer just their own as every thoughts, ideas, words, non-verbal creative exchanges are interpreted, un-interpreted, dissected and over interpreted with interest and at times with competitiveness and aggression.
It is very difficult to stay true in the “eye of such a magnificent creative Vortex”. I really feel for both Jacque and Roxanne because I have been there a few times. When the split comes, it can be so painful because sometimes when caught in Hyper-reality perhaps one tries to “find a reason” for the split. Fear is involved because one is not sure if it is possible to carry on without the energetic response of the other half of the creative vortex. There is jealousy more human and primal than even the drives pushing our sex drives. In fact, you may find that is derived from our basic instinctual sex drive as any creative energy can be; be it in the Arts or in a social Vision!
Some of the greatest minds in history have tried to “sort this out”….and they did not succeed. Even Freud and Jung had a Life-long issues with their “split”. At its worst, if caught in an gender inequality gap, the woman in the situation would be villified as “insane” like with Lady Caroline Lamb and the man in the situation will be forever tainted as a “perverse criminal” (see Lord Byron). That is taking it to the DARK Side, it is not necessary!
All this can be like Alchemy; both scientific and philosophically magical. There is no question that both Project & Movement (the end results) belong to the 1% genius category.
But as I review what happened to the two people in the course of 2011, I feel like what a chinese person would say,” Person who has treaded this path before”….I really feel for these two Brilliant Creative people caught in a Creative Vortex that got sucked into Hyperreality.
In a way I feel for the “children” (the followers) who probably felt like they had to choose between parents in a divorce, no matter how many times the parents say: “It is between us, it is not the house, not you, not because you were not fantastic. Not because we stopped loving you etc.” Somehow that “split” can really turn into Angar & Aggression….but that is not a good reason to HATE either parents.
I think if we take a deep analysis of most organisational dynamics this is common throughout nearly ALL human networks, be they formal or informal ones.
I have no solution to such things. I am only human. I hope it is okay to show-case BOTH of their works here together, yet separate!
The reason is, when Ying pulls away from Yang, in the Taoist system there is always a bit of Yang in Ying.
AND vise versa. I do not feel it would be Objective or Spiritually attuned to only present either the Project or the Movement.
AND as a person, may I say: There is no question that one will miss the other for a very long time to come. Many would be so happy to know that the people in the creative Vortex of new ideas would “come together” again. But while new things evolved it is okay to honour and give credence to the old. It is not necessary to just destroy what was in order to build what will be. Nothing is permanent. Change is the only Certainty in our world.
I hope the individuals involved will, with time, see what was Achieved instead of perhaps what remained of the recriminations that passed them by in the course of their split.
I don’t expect this would appear in any Official version of events. But anyone who has spent 20secs in a progressive organisation would probably understand what I am talking about from an “insider’s” point of view.
For what it is worth, I know that many in Asia, especially China and India will REALLY understand the complexity of the situation because we come from a non-binary, non-dual way of organising our thoughts/feelings. They would understand it better if things were explained, as I have done in terms of Human relations.
Cecilia is a Hong Kong Chinese-Australian Social Entreprneur, Artist, Directors of NGO in Africa, South Ameria, Asia and California who really really likes to "tell it how it is", having travelled to over 40 countries around the world & seen some interesting things every so often.
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