Charlotte Street Foundation identifies the needs and fuels the evolution of an ever-changing multidisciplinary arts ecosystem, acting as its primary provocateur. We cultivate the contemporary, the exceptional, and the unexpected in the practice of artists working in and engaging with the Kansas City Art Community
Look around you.
Look around you.
Just look around you.
If those three lines ring a bell, then you’ve either heard something like this from your yoga instructor or you recognize them from the television comedy of the same name. Clearly, I prioritize British satire over yoga class.
Look Around You lampooned late 1970’s educational television by examining a seemingly mundane event or object with nonsensical scientific experiments that didn’t seem to prove anything particularly revolutionary, like submerging teeth to discover whether calcium is soluble. But what if there’s something to that concept? Looking around us, I mean. Don’t put a raft of ducks in bathtubs to find out whether they’re buoyant. Or if you do, be sure to invite me: that just sounds like it would be really cute.
I believe something positive happens when we pull our minds out of a task and relax our focus, even for moment. In addition to the obvious physical benefits (how many workplace handbooks encourage us to take regular breaks from tedious activity in order to prevent a myriad of health problems?), looking around gives us an opportunity to connect meaningfully with the humans around us. It can even unclog the problem-solving portion of our brains just long enough for the solution to appear when we least expect it. Most importantly, looking around us can provide a clearer perspective of our circumstance. Yes, what I am doing is important, you may think, but it’s not all there is.
I would like to propose a healthy challenge to you. Tomorrow – Friday – I’d like you to dedicate at least a portion of the noon hour to just looking around you. Experience what it is like to hold yourself completely upright, take in deep, unhindered breaths, and focus on your surrounding environment with ease. Don’t go looking for an epiphany: therein lies the way to madness. Instead, take in the mundane without judgment and enjoy the sensation of being present. And if you happen to be around the Paragraph Gallery on 12th Street in DTKC when you do this, I can absolutely guarantee that you will see something cool.
The very best to you, friends. And don’t forget to look around you.