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.
The Problem. Mission. Process. Antiracism.
[ [ edge effect ] ] THE PROBLEM
For a century, the Public Relations industry has honed techniques to channel human energy away from political solidarity, and towards consumerism, factionalism, and self-doubt. We call out from our isolation to find new ways of naming the ways in which PR culture fosters systemic racism, income inequality, and divide-and-conquer politics, which together eat away the foundations of our remaining cultural spaces.
At the same time, education, healthcare, and the performing arts — economies that rely on live human interaction — face ever-steepening budget cuts, forcing individuals to scramble to meet their basic human needs, let alone learn what it feels to be nourished.
As we move through an environment crafted to exploit short-term thinking and psychosocial vulnerabilities, we walk backwards into the collapse of our planet, and the loss of millions, perhaps billions, of lives. It is time for a new cultural attitude.
[ [ edge effect ] ] MISSION
[ [ edge effect ] ] is a think-and-do tank that designs hybrid performances, across media, for the public good. We create cultural gathering spaces where makers and audiences can share knowledge across disciplinary boundaries, so that we may recognize and heal from the techniques of mass persuasion that pervade our everyday lives.
This coalition unites performers, designers, scholars, scientists, journalists, activists, technologists, funders, and organizers in the creation of works that address the harmful aspects of our profit-driven culture. The resulting collaborations 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 foster a shared ethics of consensual collaboration, a generous and joyful workspace, critical self-awareness, and healing through antiracist and antipatriarchal action.
[ [ edge effect ] ] PROCESS
[ [ 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 ] ] ANTIRACISM & DIVERSITY
For [ [ edge effect ] ] diversity is not only a goal, but rather the goal: interpersonally, interdisciplinarily, and interculturally.
We focus our energies on coalitional goals to take down systems of oppression that benefit very few, while embracing a utopian hope for our creative processes and partnerships. By allying ourselves with the people of a future world, we join a movement with greater sustainability, and greater efficacy, in restoring power to the people.
Initially conceived by two straight, cis-, white Jewish people, who carry forward a secular commitment to tikkun olam, [ [ edge effect ] ] seeks community with other persons working towards the healing of our collective spaces. We search for new 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.
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.
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, Nina Angela Mercer, Tony Torn, Mica Baum-Tuccillo, Tuce Yasak, and others.