A MOMENT ON THE CLOCK OF THE WORLD is an invitation to consider how we make the world, together. It collects the voices of people who respond to this invitation with their living lives and prolific work: artists, social justice practitioners, cultural critics and public intellectuals — Cornel West, Taylor Mac, Alisa Solomon, Robin D.G. Kelley and Laura Flanders among them — whose own inquiries intersected with that of the award-winning Foundry Theatre across its 25-year history.
Notions of collaboration, art, community, space, prefigurative politics, metrics, and Time animate a conversation about the ways that artists and social justice workers build a more equitable world, and the historic challenges of their doing so together.
A MOMENT ON THE CLOCK OF THE WORLD follows The Foundry’s long-standing tradition for creating provocative relationships between form and content. Its layout divides each page into two discrete horizontal sections; the top two-thirds contain each contributor’s chapter, while the bottom of the pages throughout the book hold a history of The Foundry’s inquiry by the company’s founder. There is no prescribed way to read this book. Rather, it is designed to invite the reader to discover and gather shared themes and ideas in any number of ways.
The title of the book recalls renowned social activist and philosopher Grace Lee Boggs’s legendary — and for some, incendiary — call for a new kind of activism: “Now is the time on the clock of the world to grow our souls.” This book gathers together hard-won insights of its “moment.” It’s a moment on the continuum of ever in the (r)evolutionary human project of making the world.
“This beautiful volume, celebrating the uncompromising vision of New York’s Foundry Theatre, reminds us that the impossible is possible through creative courage and the conviction of one’s deepest principles." —Los Angeles Times
"These stunning essays, interviews, incantations, manifestations are by the best radical thinkers in the U.S. A. This collection is a manifesto filled with bold ideas, magic and poetry, a living record of the best of what is still called the ‘un-American tradition’ in theater. This is political and creative courage at its best and the voices inside this work are not only subversive but reach to the very root of why we make theater, why we keep coming back. Best of all, this book wrenches apart neo-liberal notions of what ‘resistance’ truly is, and redefines and recontructs them from the root up.
And the root is the only place where the radical still lives. And there also lives The Foundry theater." —Naomi Wallace
"Below the lofts, gyms, and dog-walking, is a radical history of cultural resistance and wildness. An essential inspiration and document for those interested in curing the gentrification of the mind.” —Nato Thompson, author, Culture as Weapon: The Art of Influence in Everyday Life
"The Foundry Theatre is the great exemplar of artistic excellence, political courage, and visionary hope of American theatre in the late 20th and early 21st centuries." —Cornel West, (from the Foreword)
"A fascinating testament to the game-changing spirit of one of the most important things to happen to the American theatre. Any artist or producer seeking inspiration or lessons on how to truly shake things up should start here.” —Branden Jacobs-Jenkins
"The Foundry Theatre has quietly been responsible for some of the most artistically ambitious work seen in New York in recent years." —The New York Times
"The Foundry has a long history of pushing plays beyond the boundaries of traditional theatre in terms of form, content, and location." —Time Out
"The Foundry Theatre has excellent vision. [They] have championed remarkable theatremakers who challenge what we consider a play." —Village Voice
"The Foundry has long had the passion for mixing artistic rigor with social activism." —The Brooklyn Rail
"Since 1994, The Foundry Theatre has been a mainstay in the downtown theatre scene." —The New York Times