Collective White House

The Collective White House
A New Contract for the Americas
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A New Contract for the Americas

Medellin, Colombia – 9.1.2011

(n.) A collectively made structure depicting the White House fabricated from used bed sheets donated from local hotels. Bed sheets represent the transitory, highly mobile nature of modern life and contain traces of human existence, as did the Shroud of Turin.

Throughout the world, the White House is an icon of United States power and the aspirations of human progress. It is a primary media image symbolizing decisions made in Washington that have a profound impact on people all over the planet but who play little or no role in the decision-making process.

To address this exclusion, Collective White House is an arts and social change project through which people can re-imagine their relationship to the power structure represented by the White House. By turning an historic symbol of institutional authority into a collective social space that encourages cultural and political dialogue, participation, empowerment and reciprocity.

Collective White House is installed in public space to function as a peoples’ embassy– a collective platform and gathering place for discussion and participation on the role and influence of US politics.

Collective White House is an open source institution that re-imagines the balance of power, reconstructing a transnational symbol of dominance through active community imagination and participation. It gives power to people to redefine the role of the United States in their daily existence. These acts of social balance transform “Terminos de intercambio”, or terms of exchange into manifestations of social equality. The project will create networks in communities that contribute to a generative dialogue. Because the nature of dialogue is exploratory, its meaning and methods continuously unfold. Generative Dialogue attempts to transform the current system of one center and many peripheries into a system of several centers and no periphery. Collective thought becomes a process of identifying crisis and en-gages in a process of developing solutions. This process is adopted from David Bohm’s On Dialogue.