They felt a great affinity with each other and started an intensive correspondence resulting in An Anthology of Optimism.
Pieter De Buysser and Jacob Wren wrote a letter beginning with the following phrase: “An Anthology of Optimism is a pre-emptive celebration of a critical optimism we tentatively hope will increase in the twenty-first century.” They sent this letter out to writers, artists, thinkers, scientists, politicians, business people, etc. all over the world, asking for a response, a contribution. This contribution could be anything: a photograph, a piece of music, an object, a short text, a drawing or painting, a film or video, or perhaps something they had not even thought of yet.
In sending out this letter, Pieter and Jacob hoped to learn something about the possibilities for critical optimism in the twenty-first century, understanding critical optimism both on an intimate personal level and in relation to the larger socio-economic realities of our times.
The setting for this lecture-performance is simple: just Jacob and Pieter alone on stage, using the contributions they received as a framework for their own realizations and reflections upon the theme, delightfully enacting an ongoing process of research into how critical optimism might actually function in our contemporary world. They take the spectator on a journey through the splinters of today’s ultimate dreams for tomorrow, gathered up from different corners and layers of the world.