TOWARD A WORLD CULTURE
A Contemporary Essay
By Rick Doble
If the world of the year 2000 is to survive into the future, we have a lot of work to do. Global environmental problems may soon become a crisis which will take many years to solve.
See my essay The World Environmental Crisis Today
I would like to see an Internet site that is dedicated to finding common ground between cultures and civilizations so that we, the peoples of the Earth, can cooperate.
IF THERE WERE SUCH A SITE, I WOULD TENTATIVELY WORD IT IN THE FOLLOWING WAY
We seek a world culture that respects all peoples, races, religions, civilizations and differences while searching for and promoting an understanding of the Earth that is shared by all.
We do not intend this world culture to replace any existing culture, but rather to add to all cultures. Most people have a number of loyalties such as family, community, city, state or province and nation. A world culture simply adds another layer to these already existing layers.
In the near future we will need to prevent global warming, pollution of the oceans, over fishing of the seas, destruction of the forest and the atmosphere while promoting sustained development in all corners of the world and reducing population growth. We have no choice because to fail could mean the end of humans on this Earth or life as we know it.
Everyone can lend a hand. This quest for a World Culture is a heroic struggle that will meet with plenty of opposition. This effort will need dedicated people who will cooperate among themselves.
Accomplishing this will be a Herculean effort which will require extraordinary vision, new and untested ideas and the ability to withstand criticism. It may take one or even two life times to bring this about, if we are, in fact, successful. In many cases ideas will not work as hoped or promising ideas will not get the necessary backing. This is to be expected. Much will need to be tried, to find the good ideas that will work.
While a task on this scale normally would require massive funding, it is possible that a network of people could make a difference, by combining their different skills and promoting simple but workable ideas. In a sense this site is to promote a "think tank" at least for the more comprehensive and expensive projects. This could add an important voice to the struggle that will certainly be before us.
SUGGESTIONS AND IDEAS
As an artist I have limited my suggestions to art based projects but obviously there could be all kinds. Here are just a few suggestions. Naturally this list should be much longer and deeper. But it is a start.
World stories and myths for the modern age.
I have written one such story for children in which I tell the modern scientific tale of the "Big Bang" like an ancient myth. This version of the beginning of the Universe is a belief that is now shared around the world.
Read this story online: The Beginning of Time
World art and sculpture that uses local traditions, techniques and locations to create works of Earth based experiences that we all have in common.
For example, artists could create sculptures that would be aligned with the sun at both equinoxes and solstices. These could be inspired by ancient monuments of a region that were used for determining the time of year such as Stonehenge, Mayan Temples and the astronomical observatories of ancient Persia.
Art that has a global or universal appeal.
For example, I have created an online exhibit of colored snowflakes based on real microscopic photographs. These images are currently being looked at by teachers, students and many others around the world.
See my snowflake exhibit online: Snowflakes
Simple ideas, slogans and symbols that can be embraced by the diverse peoples of world.
A world music.
This seems to be happening on its own and might be the model for other art forms. Electronic music has the flexibility to be easily tuned, for example, for different ears around the world. It also has the ability to blend different music traditions.
Read this related essay:
Thoughts About Art in the 21st Century