A Farm, A Dojo
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'Ways of Coming to Knowing and Regeneration: Improvisation and Experimentation in/and the Arts, Contemplative Practices, Nature Awareness and Regenerative Farming...a group, a place
After quite some years of artistic and activist work, various collaborations, research, and time to hopefully integrate and embody, I am now looking to gather/join forces and the like-minded, and establish an actual living/working base.
I hope that the description below will give you a context and a framework.
Also I feel that the current pandemic is yet another hint for a radical rethinking, and that we need more spaces to develop embodied understanding, tools, skills and mutual support for this time of societal and environmental emergency, where we can learn how to cope with uncertainty and grief, while comprehending what living in service of all beings might mean and imply.
I have found that nature and certain approaches in the arts are great teachers and facilitators in that respect, so are contemplative practices.
They offer pathways towards experiential and direct, living knowledge (systems) and understanding, more akin to indigenous wisdom, than to the worldview and ways of industrial civilization, and provide thus a valuable lens though which to examine and transcend a system that obviously is on the way to self-destruct.
In this time of crisis and adaptation I would think that such 'islands' and bridge building spaces are urgently needed.
The place would be open to develop an international network and exchange in the realms of improvisation and the arts, indigenous and contemplative cultures, earth restoration and regenerative farming methods.
I can see small conferences and gatherings, workshops and skill sharings, maybe also integrating facilities nearby.
I can see a dojo (a space for different practices), a small and eclectic library, maybe a dance and/or recording studio...
The project would be sustained through the network of friends and partners connected to it, through visitors/workshop participants and through the land itself.
Depending on the site, of course other and alternative possibilities can be envisioned.
Also there might already be a project, where an integration could be discussed.
Here are two projects/examples, outlining a rough (philosophical) framework:
Body Weather Farm
A farm founded by dancer and actor Min Tanaka together with a group of contemporary dancers from Tokyo.
"Tanaka founded Body Weather Farm in 1985 in the mountain village of Hakushu (outside Tokyo) to explore the origins of dance through farming life. Dancers who come to live there spend several hours every day doing labor in the fields, raising rice, vegetables and chickens, followed by many hours of daily dance training. The farm is a cooperative living environment, where everyone pitches in and everything is shared among participants. Members of the community learn new patterns of social engagement by taking part in the communal living environment. While throughout the process, the landscape seeps into their bodies and influences their art."
Black Mountain College
Black Mountain College was founded in 1933 in Black Mountain, North Carolina.
It was experimental in nature and committed to an interdisciplinary approach, prioritizing art-making as a necessary component of education and attracting a faculty and lecturers that included many of America's leading visual artists, composers, poets, and designers.
The liberal arts program offered at Black Mountain was broad, and supplemented by art making as a means of cultivating creative thinking within all fields.
There were no course requirements, official grades (except for transfer purposes), or accredited degrees.
Students were also required to participate in farm work, construction projects, and kitchen duty as part of their holistic education.
The college was well known as an incubator for artistic talent. Notable events at the school were common.
Many of the school's faculty and students were or would go on to become highly influential in the arts. (Cy Twombly, John Cage, Robert Rauschenberg, Buckminster Fuller, Willam and Elaine de Kooning...)
Please feel free to get in touch, also if there are any further questions.
contact (at) passiveactivism.net