By Ingrid Katrine Amundsen
I run IART Ingrid Katrine Amundsen, a non-profit online business with academic essays and texts, freed from any political agenda. I am an educated architect and human geographer. At this web portal, I will present to you urgent societal matters from a system angle, and bird's-eye perspective. Among the matters that I am passionate about are arts and culture, political geography, innovation and technology, psychology, agriculture and forestry, the environment, economic geography, legislation, and the rule of law, as well as institutional theory. These themes are on the menu above. This webpage is sort of my sketchbook, because I develop my ideas online, which enables you to see how I build theoretical concepts element by element into a theoretical whole, or break theoretical concepts apart, to make a system account of burning issues. Since not all essays are finished, there is a year next to each title. This is the year I plan to finish the essay. So, that you can note, when the essay(s) you are interested in is due to be completed at iart.no.
IART originally started out as a web gallery of artworks that I made. This is why I took the domain iart.no and called my business IART Ingrid Katrine Amundsen. I liked the fact that the webpage had an artistical origin and intention, because the process of creating art and academic essays is quite similar. It is all about having that one original idea, or more unique ideas. I create ideas by displacing systems and elements, elements and elements, or systems and systems. Lately the web portal has turned into kind of a knowledge hub, and a collective site for all my intellectual interests, but still with an artistical twist. In short, this web portal is a sketchbook, and a diary for my intellectual interests. But, in addition, it is an expression of my freedom of speech. I utilize my freedom of speech as part of a 'democratic infrastructure' (collective freedom of speech). I also devote myself to utter my perspectives on urgent societal matters, such as e.g. the fashion industry, oil drilling, childhood poverty or human compassion, the culture industry as part of a neoliberal system, and suggestions on a new economic system, this, to whomever it may concern (liberal freedom of speech). My freedom of speech is therefore two folded. How I use my freedom of speech, differs from each essay. Sometimes it is more liberal, at other times it's more collective. Altogether, the academic works at this website, is a combinatory of liberal and collective freedom of speech.
The creative process: I sketch, create ideas, structure, write, and make my mistakes, and my victories online. All academic essays or texts at this website is, as mentioned above, rooted in an idea or sketch, which is inspired by the use of displacements, as a method. It may start out with a creative and original mindset, that easily absorbs impressions, and turns these into ideas or sketches. But, the fact is that by the method of displacements, everyone can in principle become original and creative. In addition, I believe that everything can evolve from nothingness into an inspiration, and that every inspiration can turn into a simple sketch or an idea. This is the way I deal with impossible challenges, such as e.g. system changes. You must also note this: different people have different perceptions on what is nothingness and what is inspirational, and what is impossible and what is possible. The idea or sketch from our inspiration or nothingness may, through displacements and impossible challenges, unfold like a flower into a full-blown and coherent theoretical concept. Because, there is no other groundbreaking excitement; that can be compared with, taking on an impossible academic challenge!
This is how it works. When I only have a title, I have a clear idea about the directions or themes I would like to unfold, and a theoretical concept has started to work in my mindset. When I also have an under title I have started to construct a theoretical concept more thoroughly. If I have the complete set of titles and an abstract, I am confident on how to create the theoretical concept. In addition, if I have a structure, I have clarified to myself how to progress through each step of the academic essay or text. The final move is to construct theory, methodology, discussions, and a conclusion in line with the set structure, which includes texts and solid reference lists. An essay is finished, when the 'work in progress' sentence is removed from the opening of each essay or text. That is it. But the truth is usually more messy, comprehensive, and unperdictable! Note this: if the essay is in progress, it may have inherent errors, these will hopefully be corrected before the essay or text is finished. Check out iart.no once in a while, to see how the effort with the academic tasks, evolves from an idea or a skech, into a completed academic essay or text.
I am genuinely curious about what is stirring the pot of our global society. I have a heartfelt message about all the issues that I discuss, and I sincerely want to uncover societal matters in an inclusive and democratic way. It is everyone's responsibility to stand up for justice, listen, and support marginalized voices. We must support e.g. indigenous people, people in the LGBT community, cultural minorities, mentally vulnerable people, deaf or blind people, disabled people, children who experience poverty or religious minorities, among many other disregarded voices. In supporting these marginalized voices, it is also important to make knowledge shine, and I will do everything in my power, to make you surf on complex academic notions and theory, discussions and methodologies, and enlighten you.
At this website I provide you something to bring up in social settings and bring into lunch time at work, take to school, or question at your college or university. And, you might use it as a conversation starter at the street, if you should suddenly bump into a neighbour or a friend. Every academic essay or text must make sense, and empower and inform you as a citizen, husband or wife, activist or student, and other vital roles in the society, in which you identify yourself with. You must start making your own voice heard and start your own way of turning stones to unravel injustice, joy, or simply matters that you care deeply about. Enjoy your path(s) towards knowledge and truth, but most of all love. Seek insight in societal matters with excitement, be true to your own ways of being, and engage! There is insightful knowledge in all of us, we just must to learn, think and act in cohesion, because we are stronger together. We need each other. Stay informed! Connect with others! Get organized! Share your ideas and be critical to the information you gather! No conspiracy theories, thanks, and no extreme thoughts, please! It is a strenuous situation for all: try to smile and laugh as much as you can, it is highly contagious! Our abilities to adapt and be resilient is critically tested, and re-evaluated! But even though the situation is overtly challenging, remember, we are in this together: it is our world!
Methodologically I am particularly interested in radical interdisciplinarity, transdisciplinarity, and open science. While radical interdisciplinarity seeks to connect disciplines that are radically different, such as e.g. music and archeology or mathematics and culture, transdisciplinarity seeks to integrate knowledge in holistic perspectives, in an otherwise fragmented and incomplete global society. The aim is to bring new insights and create novelties, by connecting unexpected knowledge and strive for diversity, and inclusiveness. More importantly you should look into transdiciplinary approaches, to get an even more exciting perspective and holistic approach.
Furthermore, open science seeks to democratizise knowledge and to reach a broader audience. This can be seen in the language on my website, which is more colourful and visionary, than what is expected in traditional academic writings. As a writer and essayist I thrive in intellectual writings that exceeds the fixed box, and makes a system account. The fixed box represents the learnings gained by being handed over to us from academic textbooks of theory and methodology.
As well as the radical interdisciplinarity and the open science approach, the author takes a visual spatial move or holistic stance, towards deciphering intellectual challenges, to seek a system understanding. It is however in the nature of human beings to be creative, intuitive and flexible and contest their given limits, such as the fixed box. To change the world we must indeed exceed our limits! So that, hopefully, we can hand over the Earth in a more humane and equal, democratic, fairer, as well as in a more balanced state climatically and ecologically, to the next generation.
In order to accomplish these challenging system changes, we must exceed the fixed boxes we have created for knowledge, whether it is the fixed box of theory and methodology academically, the white cube in the domain of culture, or the spatial container in architecture.
To adress urgent matters from a system perspective the author; as mentioned, utilize synthesis and decomposition to understand the complexities of systems, and to criticise these systems. Another way of explaining this approach is that it is a visual spatial approach. Visual spatial learners, are engaged in wholeness and holistic points of views, to understand comprehensive societal patterns.
By this joint bird's-eye perspective, it is fundamental to the creative, intuitive and idealistic thinker; as the author, to at first try to understand the system, then make a system analysis, and finally to criticise it, in order to change the system. In addition, cathedral thinking is another holistic approach. Cathedral thinking ties together thinking, concepts and visions about a greater task; such as building a cathedral, to long-term action. This superior task is doable through social collaboration or social cohesion, based on common beliefs and visions. Cathedral thinking seeks to; in collaboration, create something larger than ourselves, such as saving the planet we are at.
System criticism, the bird's-eye perspective, the visual spatial approach and cathedral thinking, are all fundamental in understanding the complexities of urgent societal matters, and how to make long-term plans for action, that will lead us to accomplishing our goals. And, as uttered, in order to reach our superior goals, such as to save the planet, we cannot do this without connecting socially, collaborate and organize ourselves. However, when urgent matters seems to challenging or to complex to handle or grasp, remember that humanity has overcome strenueous tasks together, in the force of acting jointly, before we came into existence. Nothing is impossible!
There must be suggested solutions to how radical and transdisciplinary system changes can be approached too. The solution to create system changes is most of all to contest the given rules of our societal organizations and institutions, such as by e.g. freedom of speech, civil disobedience, and the freedom and, resistance, expressed through the Avant-garde's and the artists' works of art. But, the key to environmental system change, is to get organized with others, and to act in social cohesion. But, also to engage in political activities that can turn ideas into actions, which eventually will bring foorth new regulatory practices. In order to be part of these intriguing system changes, we must not allow obstructions to slow down our mindset and vitality, but search for opportunities and solutions, in the present or ahead of us. But most of all, we must take responsibility as human beings and, indeed, exceed our limitations. It is, however, fundamental to fight against buissiness-as-usual, societal inertia (resistance to change), and conservative forces, as well as the familiar trap – status guo.
My expressions on this web portal and in national and local elections, are not tied to a specific political agenda, but tied to the politicians that will make the most out of our votes; in their political position, in order to save our planet. And, my expressions on this web portal is free from any economic support, or political agenda.
My advice for you, is to find the political voice that will support your societal and environmental ambitions, whether this political program is on the left, the centre or at the right side of the political scale. But, do use your vote! Whatever way you may find fitting to canalize your engagement; for the environment or injustice, your engagement is needed, as an inspiration for others, and in order to make radical and transdisciplinary societal and environmental system changes, happen! The most important message is, do not sit on the fence, get organized with others, act right now, inspire and be inspired, but most of all – act in social cohesion!