What are Culturematics?
I have recently been reading Culturematic by anthropologist and author, Grant McCracken. The basis of the novel gives readers insight into how we can create and build culture. This information got me thinking about Denver’s culture, and where I fit in.
So, what does it mean to create culture, and what is ‘culturematic’? To create culture, ideas must be innovative. McCracken gives examples of ideas: Fantasy football, reality TV, Burning Man. It is ideas like these that catch our attention, grow in unexpected ways, and truly begin to shape a culture (therefore making them, culturematic).
Culturematics start as “what if’s”, and without the deliberate intention of grabbing people’s attention, they become something everyone wants to try. They create subcultures that people can begin to identify with. What makes them different from the creation of content, is that culturematics explore questions. “What if we built a small wooden man and burned him on Baker Beach?” This question led to what became ‘Burning Man’, an annual gathering (that is truly a culture of its own) now held in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada. The event now embodies art, and self-expression as a week-long journey for the community created by its yearly attendants.
It is questions like these, that are the start of what is unknowingly the inspiration for a culturematic. As a creative, and chaser of great ideas in Denver, I think there is a lot to learn from culture and what makes each aspect of it so unique. With culturematics in mind, and a true desire to ask questions (that may or may not have answers), we can be culturematic in our thinking and influential in a world looking for ideas beyond the creation of content.