Feb. 28, 2020
Every month 2.3 billion users log in to Facebook and 115 million active Twitter users share bits and pieces of their stories in 140 characters or less. Razor’s Edge, a new art conference at Biola University, took an in-depth look at story in an age that emphasizes fragmented stories.
The three-day conference held Feb. 27 - March 1 hosted by Biola University’s Center for Christianity, Culture and the Arts delved into discussing the relationship between individual stories and metanarratives in today’s culture. The theme “Transcending the iWorld: Extraordinary Stories in a Fragmented Age” spurred conversations surrounding the role of story in the digital age.
“We want to explore the way that story is being handled and thought of and disseminated in the world of technology,” said Barry Krammes, professor of art and director of the CCCA. “This conference gave people ideas for how they can relay their stories, whether that’s using the arts or being more conscious of sharing their stories.”
Students and faculty of Biola University, along with visitors to campus, explored this concept through various workshop sessions, performances, and presentations from featured artists, such as philanthropist Roberta Ahmanson, author Ron Hansen, and musical storyteller George Makinto.
Philantropist Roberta Ahmanson discussed the role of story while describing the process behind designing her home in Corona Del Mar during her segment “Inside Out: Inhabiting Your Space.”
“Stories reveal the world we inhabit. They take us out of ourselves and our present,” Ahmanson said.
David Gungor and John Arndt of The Brilliance, an independent music group, presented “The Gift of Liturgy for a Fragmented World” Saturday afternoon. Gungor shared his story behind writing music that revolved around the Christian calendar.
“The Brilliance did not begin with us saying ‘we want to revolutionize music’,” Gungor said. “We specifically wanted to focus on the narrative of God. We are storied creatures. Increasingly we find ourselves de-storied in the role of the universe. We need a better story,”
In the evening, a concert from The Brilliance concluded the conference in Sutherland Auditorium.
The conference was formerly known as the Biola Art Symposium, an annual one-day symposium hosted by Biola’s art department. The new format and extended duration of the conference now offers more sessions and presentations, and therefore allows further discussion of the theme at hand.
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