by Travis Ballenger, New Works Senior Producing Fellow
This post is a bit overdue, when you read it, you'll understand why. I've been struggling with how to communicate what I experienced there. Let's start from the beginning...
Jamie Gahlon, another Artistic Development Team Member, and I went to Chicago for the Buckminster Fuller Institute (BFI) Challenge Award Ceremony. Our goals were to simply meet a couple of people and get some ideas for audience enrichment activities for the show, R. Buckminster Fuller: THE HISTORY (and Mystery) OF THE UNIVERSE.
We started our journey with dinner with Allegra Fuller Snyder, Jaime Snyder, Lucilla Marvel, and D.W. Jacobs, the director of the show. Our Alice in Wonderland journey began...We talked about Bucky's ideas on synergy why he created the domes, etc. I futilely tried to grasp the size of this man's life. How could one person do so much? What was the point of all of it?
I don't think it possible to see the scope of Bucky until you see how people have responded to his ideas. Nor would I want to give a history lesson. Instead, I'll tell you about some of the amazing things some people are doing to save the world:
The winners of the Challenge grant were a group of MIT students. Their project: Sustainable Personal Mobility and Mobility-on-Demand Systems. These guys were completely re-imagining the way we travel. Check this out it's really cool.
Here are the links to other projects. You have everything from an organization attempting to turn New Mexico green to people who are building Mukuru BioCentres. What brilliance!
So after meeting all of these people who are saving the planet and everything on it, I began to wonder what I was doing. Bucky believed that the little man (person) could do change the way things moved. He discussed the idea of a trimtab. A trimtab is a small piece on the back of a rudder. In order to turn the whole ship, the rudder has to turn. The current, however, is going so strong that the rudder would break if you just turned it. So a trimtab was created to change the current ever so slightly so the rudder could turn. This would then turn the whole ship. That's a beautiful image. Bucky said, "Call me Trimtab".
Diving into Bucky's world has really tossed my life. In a great way. I'm inspired by all the people changing the current. I can't wait to show you more of their work. Call me Trimtab.