Here, WdW Review charges invited participants with a given motion or proposal to be
deliberated, over time, in public. Taking many forms, from roundtable dialogues to discretely
penned responses, these collected replies seek to not only unite or divide actors in our home
area, but to also amplify discussion between them, and with the world at large.
Debate consultant: Liesbeth Levy
This section acts as the nexus for several international correspondents to question how their respective cultural fields have taken, and are taking, shape. Who are and were the significant players? What are the socio-political environments and histories within these fields? How do these factors pressure the humanities, and, more so, how do the humanities in turn respond to, and co-form, these contexts? Considering the ‘now’ as a period of continual transition and transformation toward a potential, and hopefully, better future, these texts circle our precious, yet precarious present, by tracing an extended temporal arc.
To this end, WdW Review’s authors reach back into the past so as to uncover a wealth of—possibly forgotten—wisdoms, while also projecting through recent developments, new plans, and newer models which consider what is present or to come. The cities themselves—organized here as local editorial desks in the fashion of a newspaper—have been chosen due to two complementary factors: while the older locales may uncover how ancient stories and ways of living together are adapted to our current climate, many of the younger points offer innovative techniques that have lead to their growing economic and geo-political strength.
Billy Holiday once made a simple, yet prescient observation; when she was coming off drugs, she didn’t like to watch Television. Although this could be seen as a passing comment, such an association ties imagery to narcotics as twinned devices that can both stimulate and anesthetize. Building off such a conflicted prescription, this section tasks various writers to dig deep into the means and ways that mediated visions turn scenes into situations that promote a shared consciousness. To provoke this discourse between the use, effect, and sideeffects of images and narratives, artists, writers, and scholars here ‘peep’ at a single image so as to find hidden fames in the ubiquitous signs and symbols which surround and constitute our daily lives.
Here, WdW Review solicits independent considerations on a shared time and/or place so as to question how context is constructed through the banding together of various perspectives. Bound together into unique sets, each featuring a different setting respectively, these collections also look toward under-examined events and situations that have influenced or underlay how we live today.
With particular regard toward new ideas and their promotion, this section serves as WdW Review’s stage for thoughts that are timely and urgent. Manifesting in two tracks—the first a series of in-depth essays on open topics, while the second presents commissioned scholarly articles and personal compositions that inform, feed off, and serve to refract the program and its themes hosted at Witte de With—, these investigations tease out the full range of our intellectual situation. Like symbols on a map, these posts offer our readers touchstones with which to construct their own tours both through and around the art center’s program. In addition to these texts, editorial cartoons punctuate this section so as to stoke the mind through other means.