We want to address people: our neighbors and our distant neighbors who, living in the current social system, find that this system maintains itself at the expense of its members so that misery, poverty, hopelessness, violence, and human degradation are daily occurrences. Our social system tells us that human beings are the problem, and that it, the current system, is the solution. We have taken long looks at this system, and we do not want it. As any social system is humanly created, not natural, and is maintained daily by human action, we wish to create new social systems, and to change our daily patterns of action.
Criticisms of the problems of the present society are often met with justifications. Once these justifications fail, many a conversation of hopeful intention is stopped with the (final) statement: “The present organization of society is the best we have”, or the question: “Do you have a better idea?”
This is a moment of possibility and not one to be left speechless. Indeed, many a time, the respondent finds herself sputtering, filled with a spirit of rebellion which unfortunately gets watered down to the language of mere complaint.
Having had the time and opportunity to create—in conjunction with others of diverse experiences—detailed maps, dreams, plans, scripts, scores, videos, and blueprints of her desirable society, we imagine the situation could go differently.
Imagine an atmosphere of audacity: She’s asked the question: “Do you have a better idea?” Everyone taking a coffeebreak looks at her or their shoes. She looks the interlocutor in the eye and reaches into her purse? knapsack? briefcase? kitchen drawer? for a booklet of proposals, slaps it on the table scattering cigarette butts, and answers: “Here, read this—this will give you an idea of what I want.”
A school can provide the necessary initial chaos to encourage the generation of new thoughts.
Anyone can learn anywhere at anytime, and does; in a school, one is more likely to find someone who will teach.
Teaching is one of the few professions to which the sharing of power is indispensible.
In a school people can meet with the shared purpose of questioning premises, questioning givens.
There are no more than a handful of schools based on the desire for social change; this school proposes in addition, that social change be based on desires.
This school is organized by people who make a point of knowing how to accept an invitation.
Unusual stress is placed on performance; but performance understood in a particular way--not as competitive or achievement-based performance; performance, rather, in the sense of having an intent and choosing, from alternatives, one's preferred way of presenting that intent. Thus, this school emphasizes performance not only in the sense of practicing music, movement, speech, the performing arts, but also in the sense of daily performance, the performance of social roles, the manifesting of our identities. And further, the interest in performance is not academic, reporting the way things are, but interested--how can performance help in imagining a different society? There will be many opportunities in this school to have fun with, to play with, to experiment with ways of presenting intent.