Written by artists/ activists Gavin Grindon and John Jordan of the Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination, this 68 page guide inspires readers with belief in the impossible. The poetic call to action was initially distributed at the 2010 art activism event organized to protest proposed cuts to arts funding in London. Since its initial distribution the Open Access text has been translated in more than 6 languages and downloaded worldwide.
The playful guide quotes and combats arts naysayers, beginning with a quote from Clement Greenberg saying “I don’t see art as having ever, in a real sense, affected the course of human affairs” The text then continues to discuss and debate what are is, as well as why and to whom it matters.
Advocating for artists and concerned citizens to make use of what is at hand, the Guide is peppered with fanciful illustrations that are nearly instructional but leave the reader with more questions than answers. It “is not a road map or instructional manual… (but instead) a match struck in the dark, a home made multi-tool to help you carve your own path…”.
Whether read start to finish or flipped through like a book of koans, The Users Guide to Demanding the Impossible is full of inspiration to reimagine both the mundane and the extraordinary, and provides a jumping off point for approaching community development challenges everywhere.