The name of this piece, The Many Ways I Remain Defiant In the Face of Institutionalized Stupidity is a reflection on contemporary culture. Terror Management Theory suggests that human culture is a form of terror management. That is, humans as a species understand the finite nature of existence (death) which produces profound terror in the individual. Our symbolic systems of religion, art and entertainment are methods by which we ameliorate this terror. These systems give us comfort (religion), they distract (entertainment) they sublimate (art). It’s my belief that contemporary culture rewards and encourages stupidity. Our cultural systems have naturally evolved to encourage and reward stupidity. I remain defiant in the face of this. This impulse in culture (the drive to stupidity) too can be seen as an advanced form of terror management. The 1959 novel by Daniel Keyes, Flowers for Algernon depicts the life of Charlie Gordon who undergoes an experimental surgery to raise his IQ from 68 to 204. The novel has been controversial in that it raises complex ethical and moral issues such as the treatment of the mentally disabled. To essentialize the novel is perhaps to kill it, but it effectively portrays the notion that with increased capacity to think comes the complexity of ramification. What am I saying? “Stupidity” is the result of a toxic mix of late capitalism and terror managment. My Approach to making work, and my belief in the role of art and design stands defiant in the face of these forces. How? See Episode 5 of my YouTube show Studio Practice. In this episode, I touch on issues related to art|design and a rejection of “Stupidity” as a value.