April 20 – May 7, 2010
April 22 at 5:30 pm
We Need You; Are you ready?
It’s not enough to sit back and read the story. You need to be part of the action.
You need to make a difference. YOU need to know how to change our city.
In February 2010, the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index interviewed more than 353,000 participants and asked individuals to assess their jobs, finances, physical health, emotional state of mind and communities. The survey ranked Modesto 161 out of the 162 cities surveyed.
After examining 70 criteria, the 2006 Most Livable Cities ranking placed Modesto, California last of 373 cities. In April 2009, Yahoo.com rated it the least livable metro area of more than 500,000 people, and in late 2008, Forbes Magazine rated it one of the 10 most miserable cities in the country.
Modesto’s current ranking is in stark contrast to its reputation in the middle years of the 20th century as a progressive and desirable community known for its cutting edge architecture and urban design, and one of the fastest growing cities in the country.
//Building Imagination is dedicated to rebuilding Modesto through imaginative and forward thinking solutions to Modesto’s livability issues. Collaborating with the Modesto Art Museum, artists Jessica Gomula and Christian Hali will lead others in creating dynamic and imaginative responses to Modesto’s ranking as the most unlivable city in the country, and will help others envision how we can return to our earlier notoriety, and beyond. Our goal is to confront the area’s poverty of imagination by using art — video, architecture, design, and gameplay — to inspire creativity and help solve the area’s many urban problems.
Community members are invited to contribute to the project by joining the //Building Imagination Alternate Reality Game or by posting comments and sending emails, images, videos and/or postcards to the Modesto Art Museum.
Building upon predecessors such as World Without Oil and Urgent EVOKE, //BUILDINGIMAGINATION: the ARG is an alternate reality event, a serious game in changing the world for the public good. It invites everyone to help re-imagine a future for Modesto, or anywhere else in the world. People participate by contributing original stories, images, and video, creating new visions with every word. The goal of the social network game is to help empower people all over the world, and especially people in Modesto, to come up with creative solutions to our most urgent social problems. The game places value on player-created communities, collaborative stories, and collective efforts. Each contribution helps the game arrive at a larger truth. No team of experts knows better than a given individual what effect an influx of imagination could have upon that individual’s life and community, or what action he or she will take to spur it forward. Personal reactions to our simulated influx of imagination, placed in context with many other points of view, will help us all realize what’s at stake in our community.