Dec 28, 2017
Manoj Kesavan is a cultural catalyst and creative
instigator. He is co-founder of Que-OS, a non-profit
collective of creative professionals who plan and activate spaces
for community and cultural engagement. Que-OS is the
organizational enterprise behind BOOM Charlotte, an artist-led,
annual, three-day fringe festival showcasing contemporary and
experimental performance and visual art. Manoj is also the
founder of Point 8 Forum, a gathering of artists, architects and
designers who explore multidisciplinary topics and encourage free
thought, inquiry and creativity. He is the organizer of
PechaKucha Charlotte, an event presentation series, and served as a
founding team member of TEDx Charlotte. Manoj holds a Masters
of Architecture degree from Kansas State University and Bachelors
of Architecture degree from the University of Kerala, India.
This episode is
perfect for anyone interested in instigating creative and cultural
change and social practice as art.
IN THIS EPISODE
- Manoj talks
about BOOM Charlotte and what motivated
- He explains the experimental operating model that
sustains BOOM Charlotte and the importance of the
model in the evolution of art in Charlotte.
- He references Wikipedia, early
century Paris, mid-century Latin America, and the Harlem
- He addresses how BOOM Charlotte seeks to be open and inclusive,
yet curated, and what he thinks of curatorial
- Manoj discusses the art of social
practice, the limitations of definitions, and the
evolution from making things to making things
- He references Theaster Gates, Natalie Jeremijenko
and Mel Chin.
- He connects the Greek transcendental concerns of beauty, truth
and justice with worker housing in Stuttgart
and fixing the deep social and environmental issues of
- He assesses the art scene in
Charlotte and identifies barriers and obstacles to
art flourishing in the city.
- Manoj shares where he grew up, being born in a Brahman family,
and how upheavals and moving from one
place to another shaped him.
- He references the poem Homesickness by
Marina Tsvetaeva, being an outsider,
and Albert Camus' The Stranger.
- He talks about speaking Malayalam, Tamil
and Hindi, what drew him to architecture, and when and why he came
to America and to Charlotte.
- He discusses the origins of the Point8 Forum, PechaKucha
Charlotte, Que-OS, and the leap of faith of creative
- He references Fyodor Dostoevsky, Emily Dickenson, Rainer Maria
Rilke and struggling with depression.
- Manoj considers who is an artist and taking a
stance in the world.
After the conversation, host Mark Peres adds a personal word
that begins this way, "Manoj Kesavan poses the question, 'What must
I do?' For him the answer is, he must make things
To learn more, visit On Life and Meaning