Thursday, October 25, 2012

Cityzening: New Words for New Worlds

New Words for New Worlds

There are two curious words in this project: glocal and cityzening. Both are awkwardly crafted, perhaps meant to stage the difficulty of describing a condition in the also always-already fraught site of contemporary language, or in theory as in fact a literary articulation of the present.

The word glocal seems to be a hybrid of the global and the local, which tends to overcome the conjunction between local and global. The term foregoes the slash or even the hyphen as in local/global or local-global. Instead, it mints a portmanteau that fuses common and overlapping syllables of the two modes of nominating a geography or modifying some stuff of history that happens. One may fault the admixture for eliding the tensions between the words, putting in place a seamless, coherent, self-contained term. But one may also appreciate it for being productive, for surmounting a dialectic and an antinomy, and creating a new semantic universe to intuit a new notion of the universal.

The rubric of cityzening is more idiosyncratic. It alludes to two utterances: the city and the citizen. But it might be a gerund, too, so it should be able to refer to the process of becoming a citizen, or the relationship between the city and the citizen, caught up in the volatile weather of generating a situation or an ecology.

This exhibition, therefore, ought to internalize the implications of this play and this vexation. The relay from local to global to city to citizen is a livewire of so many currents and valences. It is the challenge of this undertaking to track the wavelength of this energy field, the full ethical responsibility of cohabiting space in dense vicinities and the lightness of generosity in the intervals of relations.

Patrick D. Flores
Curator, UP Vargas Museum