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In Praise of Disorder

In Praise of Disorder

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The world feels chaotic. We deal with this feeling by investing greater and greater energy into controlling what happens next. However, the broader and inescapable forces of entropy mount. Eventually, that energy will be released. Will we be ready?

Algorithmic systems promise even greater stability and predictability but, in the process drive out other ideas and beliefs in favor of the single-minded pursuit of growth and efficiency. What is lost in the process?

What if rather than fearing disorder, we embraced it? This book is an invitation to celebrate disorder as a practice that helps us deal with what’s coming. Rather than redesigning the world to feel safer, we can create and preserve a culture that acknowledges disorder while cultivating local and small-scale moments that help us adapt to changing conditions.

Disorder deserves praise. It helps us imagine new stories and conceptual metaphors, diversifies the solutions we draw upon in response to change, and liberates us from the relentless pace of modern life. Through practices of lingering, interrupting, theorizing, ritualizing, and beating the bounds, we can each break down the categories by which we make sense of experience and imagine new ones that are better suited to the world we’re in.

About the author: Jerrold McGrath is an artist-researcher and cultural theorist living in Toronto, Canada. He is a former program director at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity and currently a member of the BMW Foundation’s Responsible Leaders network. He served as the program lead for the Goethe-Institut Toronto’s Algorithmic Culture programming and is the founder and research lead at UKAI Projects. This is Jerrold’s first book.

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