At The National Gallery of Denmark’s esteemed SMK Friday on 17.04 resonating with the large-scale exhibition ‘What’s happening’ on art and activism form the 1960’s and 70’s we shared our vision on a Sensuous society. Future resonating with the past resonating with the moment.
Sensuous society – Beyond economic rationality
A L L T O M O R R O W S D R E A M S
The End is a New Beginning: In 2008 the financial world cracked, leaving a gap for the new – For the new paradigm to emerge. We regard the crack as a major opportunity.
The new paradigm: We wish to take this opportunity and support the transition into the new, by living and breeding in the cracks. From here we move.
The Sensuous Society: We will draw from the aesthetic dimension as a source of inspiration to inform the dawning world – We will call it: The Sensuous Society.
The Sensuous Society? As critical theory has pointed at the economic system has largely governed and dominated Western society since the industrialization, and rational thought has been roaming the tops of unnaturally constructed hierarchies of perception since the Enlightenment. Rational thought has been our dominating validating principle and economic premises such as efficiency, duty, and discipline have largely dominated everyday life in Western society. They have defined our institutions and offered themselves as primary modes of being and being together. However, the governance is not sustainable as the current ecological and economic crisis points at and it has lead to a fundamental de-enchantment of the life-world of modern (wo)man.
Aesthetic Interventions: But its time has come. In opposition to the economic milestone stands the artistic or rather aesthetic. This mode is based on premises such as: phantasy, desire and not at least the sensuous experience of and engagement in the world. Artistic output is the quintessence of an ultimate aesthetic mode of being the world. The notion of a sensuous society reshapes the role of art and artistic practice. The exclusive autonomous art system is also a result of the dominance of the economic dimension. Within this autonomous zone the art genius is a celebrated figure, which is conceived as someone with a very special (transcending) intelligence. In a Sensuous Society however, we believe that this will be a more common intelligence – Simply, because we all have this creative potential within us, and if our outset and mode of being in the world is the sensuous, this potential will be released. The aesthetic mode of being and being together in the world is something we as humans always have and always will dive into. However, the current exclusiveness of this mode has created a collective longing in the Western world. Like an arm cut of we move forward in the ever-turning efficient wheels of society without noticing the blood floating from our armpits. We need to democratize the aesthetic mode of being to overcome the longing and suffering that its general absence outside the art system creates. The aesthetic dimension will serve as a key source of inspiration in the Sensuous Society. Step by step those engaged in the movement toward the Sensuous Society will make interventions into the societal institutions. They will move from the crack and engage. Ultimately these actions will however not be encapsulated spaces allowing a sensuous mode of being in the world, but will constitute the primary mode itself.
No utopia: Sensuous Society is no utopia. Sensuous society is a framework to explore the radical idea of the aesthetic dimension, the sensuous and the poetic as the highest values of society. What kind of society would that create?
Performance Xperiments: We have no way of answering that question because we have not lived it. What we do have is the possibility to explore it through performance experiments. By putting our flesh to the idea. Embodying future visions to explore what it could be. While we explore we carve the path.
The school of a Sensuous society: The performance experiment Sisters Academy is one such experiment. In Sisters Academy we embody the school of a sensuous society. The Sisters and staff take over the leadership of the school and places the aesthetic dimension at the center of learning. What school would that create? When we change our educational system we change the lives of many.
Space changing: We transform space. We immerse. We become one. But two. But three. But many. A scent of times beyond time that will transcend your skin and tactilely touch you. Inspire you. Intervene you. Mirror you. Be you. Breath. Like bodies swallowed by the sea will move dissimilar from upright legs walking the ground beneath our feet. Instinctively this body will adjust to the fluidity of the water. Try to survive. Take in breath. When we change space we liberate new potential. Instinctual.
No utopia revisited: Sensuous Society is no utopia. There will most probably be winners and looser here as well. Who is going to lead – The most beautiful? The ones in touch with their senses? What will the trading system be? Something that allow you to be even more sensuous? Maybe when we are through a sensuous society we can begin to approach a more balanced state of being, that draw wisdom from all the previous states of society that draw and creates sustainable trading systems between all members of society. Maybe we can go there already? We can ask these questions through immersive and intervening performance art practices in everyday life contexts, as sites of experiments where we explore how to create a stage for the release of creative, expressive, poetic and sensuous energy as first steps toward a more balanced and engaging world. Everyone becomes co-makers toward the new.
We will do this
Movement: When you have a cause and create a vibration centered in a universe and manifested in events that inspire others, the world will move in an assured and desired direction.
Photo: diana lindhardt, The I of Sisters Academy