Building Ecostructures for Other Performance Species
Organic* cooperation is something that can be observed in nature, but also in groups of people, during trainings based on dance, theater or music improvisation techniques. There are some simple rules, and happily, some practical exercises that generate it. Of course, there are also many things that can easily destroy it, when those rules are not respected. When organic cooperation occurs, it offers the chance of one of the best aesthetic experiences (in the `relational aesthetics` realm (Bourriaud,1990)). Organic cooperation is like a visceral need to cooperate, like entering in a game or in a dance with pleasure, like a flow of easiness and .......
The instances of organic cooperation reveal not only a collective natural rhythm, but also a collective mind, that Del Close for instance, one of the grandparents of theatrical improvisation, called `group mind`. `Group mind` is like a harmonious multiple brains that manages to exceed the intelligence of individuals from the group. In a society focused more on individuals and individual creativity than on the harmony of their relations and collective creativity, this `group mind` exceptional presence is hardly studied. Mainly, because it`s exceptional, and the science of the exceptional is only at its` beginnings. What are the contexts that bring an exceptional situation, like `group mind` phenomenon, to light? Are their practical directions and exercises for making it appear and for enhancing ......
Four years ago, in 2017, 15364 scientists from 184 countries signed “Warning to Humanity: A Second Notice”. This document came as a continuation of the first notice “World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity”, penned in 1992 by the Union of Concerned Scientists with more than 1700 independent scientists, including the majority of Nobel laureates of that time. These two moments probably marked the largest gatherings of brainpower ever to happen on the face of Earth. Both warnings cautioned that:
“a great change in our stewardship of the Earth and the life on it is required, if vast human misery is to be avoided.”
"Stewardship of the Earth" is used in the sense of taking care of, of caring for, of doing the necessary things for someone who needs help or protection, of treating something in such a way that it stays in good condition. In one word of loving. The largest gathering of brainpower ever to happen on the face of Earth reached this simple conclusion:
that the distance between humanity and its vast misery can be accurately measured by our capacity of loving.
As simple and as elegant as that.
The majority of the performing arts sector and contemporary art world is wondering now how shall "our normality" be preserved under the new terms and rules imposed to humanity by COVID-19 pandemics. But what if it cannot be preserved? What if the only way to continue to work is by inventing "Other Performance Species" (abbreviated OPS), adapted even to situations of worst futures set-ups? Embracing the new cooperation paradigm in life sciences (F. de Waal, Lynn Mangulis), as well as the performative turn in cognitive and social sciences (Gerald Edelman, John R. Searle), our performative research group will question the premises of the so called "normality“ in performing arts, its main concepts, paradigms and political frames in order to reframe, change and enlarge the ways in which performing arts sector can still work and be relevant in nowadays world.
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This Project is supported by the Goethe-Institut Bukarest, Colectiv A and Heritage Contact Zone.