edge effect | ej əˈfekt | (noun)
ecology: the explosion of peculiar lifeforms that emerges at the intersection between two or more ecosystems, fueling species diversity and sustainability.
media: the explosion of new artforms and ideas that emerges at the intersection between two or more disciplines, fueling the public good.
Mission. Process. Values. Vision.
[ [ edge effect ] ] is a think-and-do tank that gathers polydisciplinary pioneers into collective creation. By uniting humanitarians of all stripes – artists, scholars, scientists, journalists, activists, technologists, funders, etc. – we generate multimedia works that identify and heal from the harmful aspects of our profit-driven culture.
We train our attention upon the transcendent issues of our time – those that are too complex for any one person, or any one discipline, to comprehend. The resulting collaborations might take shape as live performances, online videos, psychosocial experiments, hoax storefronts, immersive installations, theatrical lectures, and white papers – all designed to live at the intersection of analysis, enigma, spectacle, and delight.
Our creative process takes its inspiration from the edge-blurring practices of devised theater, which fosters a shared ethics of consensual collaboration, a generous and playful workspace, critical self-awareness, and healing through antiracist and antipatriarchal action.
[ [ edge effect ] ]’s four modes of creative engagement:
Rehearsal - practice, play, embodied presence
Design - planning, scheming, visualizing
Group Study - co-learning, analysis, theory
Administration - organizing, resource management
[ [ edge effect ] ] was initially conceived in 2020 by two straight, cis-, white Jewish people, who carry forward a secular commitment to tikkun olam. We seek community with other persons working towards the healing of our civic spaces.
Because the crises we fight were formed as a direct result of white supremacist, colonialist, ableist and patriarchal policies, our only path forward must be built upon an honest assessment of who we were to one another, who we are, and who we can become. Because our work requires that we foster a clear analysis of the present-day inequalities, our critique can only be useful and relevant if it accounts for past atrocities. And so we believe that conversations, policies, and exchanges can be antiracist insofar as they offer spaces for reparations and healing to all, centering those closest to the edges.
As we work, we continue to search for authentic ways to recognize the rightful Indigenous caretakers of the lands where all of our work takes place, and to undo the centuries of harm done against them and all colonized bodies.
If the work of [ [ edge effect ] ] is wildly successful:
Humanitarians would congregate regularly for transdisciplinary group study.
There would be no place to hide for corporations and other powerful interests to engineer consent among the masses.
The US would enshrine collective rights that limit the appearance and influence of corporate interests on our aesthetic lives.
Money would flow regularly from powerful institutions to smaller ones.
We would cherish an idea of ourselves as deeply interconnected.
We could publicly and regularly celebrate forces that foster our long-term health over our short-term impulses.
We would have a world that translates social complexities into the human scale – to maximize free time and agency and power of individuals over corporations.
In our communities, we take turns leading, seeking a more complicated view of the social world.
These are living documents, originated by Nic Benacerraf and Jess Applebaum
with the help and contributions of: Brad Burgess, Beto O'Byrne, Aislinn Curry, Kate Fry, Ann Marie Lonsdale, Bea Martino, Nina Angela Mercer, Tony Torn, Mica Baum-Tuccillo, Tuce Yasak, and others.