Throughout the year of the pandemic and stay at home orders, I created a series of public installations placed on the Great Highway/ Sunset area in San Francisco. As the highway closed and became one of the most transited areas in the city for families to come for exercise and fresh air, I used it as a platform to elicit hope, civic participation, and joy.
“Hope is not prognostication. It is an orientation of the spirit, an orientation of the heart; it transcends the world that is immediately experienced, and it is anchored somewhere beyond its horizons. Hope in the deep sense, is not the same as joy that things are going well, or willingness to invest in enterprises that are obviously headed for success, but rather, an ability to work for something that is good, not just because it stands a chance to succeed.” Rebecca Solnit quotes Vaclav Havel in her book Hope in the Dark.She continues:
“It is important to emphasize that hope is not only the beginning; it is not the substitute for action, only a basis for it. “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced,” said James Baldwin. Hope gets you there; work gets you through. And there is a long history of that work, the work to change the world, a long history of methods, heroes , visionaries, heroines, victories- and of course, failures. “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite HOPE,” MLKJr.
Cause and effect assumes history marches forward, but history is not an army. It is a crab scuttling sideways, a drip of water wearing away stone, an earthquake breaking centuries of tension. Sometimes one person inspires a movement, or her words do decades later; sometimes a few passionate people change the world; sometimes they start a mass movement and millions do; sometimes these millions stirred by the same outrage or the same ideal, and change comes upon us like a change of weather. All these transformations have in common is that they begin in the imagination, in HOPE. “ Rebecca Solnit – Hope in the Dark