Bell Hooks says “A love ethic presupposes that everyone has the right to be free, to live fully and well. To bring a love ethic to every dimension of our lives, our society would need to embrace change” (Hooks 2000, 87) Freedom, revolution, and wellbeing are the three words that come to mind when I think of the love ethic – an action and – a doing. With the full force of my body, I am made aware of the grave injustice that divides our country and those who live in it. Just an example, coming from Seattle where the cost of living is rising so quickly that they now have the third largest homeless population in the country and where the median income is $80.000. When black and brown bodies are the major populations that make up our mass incarceration numbers. Where poverty, lack of education, starvation, and unemployment appear to be systemically put into motion. In an era of polarizing fear that films police brutality with no action to correct, and high school bullies murder their peers in violent acts of hatred all while capturing on facebook live. When is enough? Where do we begin? Can I justify my work as an artist to the greater good?
I find myself in the midst of questioning this love ethic in the middle of the Florida shooting that took 17 lives? If society as a whole cannot put down their daily lives to join together for societies wellbeing to have our gun laws changed for the safety of our children’s futures, then we are farther away from functioning as a society or the “collective good” hooks speaks about (Hooks 98). I have three children so anytime a school is on lockdown or I witness another mother on TV crying, mourning, pleading for action, I am ready – ready to go. We have marched, petitioned, and continue to support groups for a cause – but at what point does the love ethic take hold to make radical change happen? When does change happen now for us? Do we have a combined voice to shake the foundation? Can we join together an find a push back against the powers neglect? Can we “awaken to love” as hooks suggest? Or are we blindfolded or desensitized by the power and domination our country endures with patriarchy, systemic racism, and capitalism?
In thinking about technology Hooks says, “For example, revolutionary new technologies have led us all to accept computers. Our willingness to embrace this “unknown” shows that we are all capable of confronting fears of radical change, that we can cope.” I find this example to be a wonderful catalyst for why Humane Technology is important in transforming our society. Not only can we confront the fears of love in our society, but we can move (action) towards the freedom, revolution, and wellbeing for all. Can we use technology to birth the love ethic movement? What does this look like? How does this collective work?
“To live our lives based on the principles of a love ethic (showing care, respect, knowledge, integrity, and the will to cooperate), we have to be courageous” (Hooks 101).
Values Chapter: What are we doing already in our class to “organize around a love ethic” and what more could we do?
Norah does a wonderful job at implementing a love ethic into the class and has provided support platforms at many different levels. Again, it can be hard to really understand the “love ethic” within peer-based situations since most of our interactions are graded on some level. However, our interactions, openness, and acceptance challenge the dominant structure and when encountering face to face interaction, I witness care and love demonstrated beautifully. I also enjoy the different voices that are brought in through the readings to inform our collective knowledge. Having more time to discuss together would be nice.
Citizen artist platform: I wish to seek out the how or action of our projects to get away from naval gazing assessments. How does our project impact society? What does our project do? What community is involved? If we could implement “love ethic” from a technological lens as a changed society what does this look like? Where does it begin? Where does it end? How do we work as a small collective to radically change the structure and find a collective voice? These questions would be worked at in a roundtable as opposed to one by one delivery.
I am thinking is there a collective charge to our work that we might not recognize yet?
What does living a love ethic mean to you in your daily life as an artist and student? What new commitments might we make together?
I struggle to find the love ethic within the institution, while I am apart of movements to change and bring in the love ethic – there are areas of the space that feel alienating or isolating. There are things I am aware of that are not noticed by the collective and I feel my otherness. How do you move through institutions as a “marked” body? How does the work interact and inform the communities? “Whose voices are in the room?” – Norah.
The love ethic has been a major part of my life since a young person, maybe this is the culture (action) I was brought up in to do twice the work, as a citizen, artist, and as a teacher. Maybe this is from the losses I encountered in my upbringing as a young person. May a combination – not sure. My focus has been with the community of dancers, artists, and collaborators I work with not only to radically change space, ideas, and hearts but to put forth the challenge of doing the work while bringing in the “audience” or “potential collaborators”. The more I can dig into the work with other human beings the more connected energy of goodness surfaces. I felt this the other day during Grad movement practice and during Climate Lecture spaces this is a totally active feeling – drawn to it. I believe there is something very healing about the love ethic that saturates the space and invades our bodies. I enjoyed how Hooks close this chapter so I will bring it back, “Those of us who have already chosen to embrace a love ethic, allowing it to govern and inform how we think and act, know that when we let our light shine, we draw to us and are drawn to other bearers of light. We are not alone” (Hooks 101).
Radicalize the space.
Challenge to think collectively.
Think more equality and equity.
Who are the love ethic heroes?
We are not alone.
hooks, bell. 2000. All about love: new visions. New York: Harper Perennial.