to ThinkOutWord Social Sculpture

Upstate New York, February 2009 


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February 24 --  Dear Friends:  I have posted a write-up and photos on the website  from the Social Sculpture created by about forty people February 6-8.  There are more details, including the text of Luke Fischer's poem, and some more background from Laura and Luke.

Please send your comments here and I will post them on the web, so we can enjoy some dialogue around this effort.  Here are some that I shared with Laura, Luke and Seth a few days ago:

The form is emerging,   It can happen in many ways.   It can be used to make something happen.   (or not happen?)

It can bring into perception what is invisible in human relationships. 

It can cause something new in human relationships. 

Materials:  Spoken words, silence, rhythmic human movement, cessation of movement, color, form, human and non-human interactions (wind, snow, weather, cars, store features, panels)

It is quite possible that work with social sculpture like this WILL give birth to the "social forms of the future."  So Anthroposophy will finally manifest in the social order.  Yay!  Better late than never.

This is giving me so much energy.  Infused from afar....I hope to meet you all in person sometime. I've attached a quote from Beuys on an Agent Orange flier.  With warm thanks, Rosemary

“Together we will develop the social concept of art as a new-born child … social art, social sculpture, which sets itself the task of apprehending more than just physical material. We also need the spiritual soil of social art, where every single person experiences and recognizes himself as a creative, world-determining being."

February 25 --  Rosemary, thanks so much for posting the additional information about the Harlemville event. It is definitely inspiring for further efforts, and we are grateful to Laura and the Thinkoutward participants for helping move us along another little step. I only want to suggest a couple of things:

1) As examples of a new social art begin to emerge, we should be careful not to try to fix or define anything too much. There are probably an infinity of possible ways this approach to art making (society-making?) can proceed, so let's welcome the greatest possible diversity (but at the same time, as Michael Howard reminds us, also look for the features that make for the best quality events and most effectiveness). [Reference is to Michael Howard’s Dialogue article on this website “Social Sculpture Beyond Beuys.”]

2) Let's also appreciate the roles of preparation and discipline in making these social sculpture events successful. The more prepared at least some number of participants are (in terms of themes, background understandings, options for activities, knowledge of capacities of fellow participants, goals, etc.), the more likely they can react spontaneously in the most helpful ways. There is also the discipline to listen, observe, and be open to what meanings or turns of events might develop (want to develop) in the course of an action. Above all, there is the (meditative) discipline to be actively, gradually developing oneself as a suitable medium for potential spiritual revelation and meanings. Although we may use a variety of props and perceptible mediums, it is we ourselves who are the primary medium for social sculpture events and who require the most preparatory work.

David Adams