by Rosemary McMullen
In 2006 and 2007 several letters appeared in News for Members (the quarterly for the North American Anthroposophical Society) about the lack of attention, cognizance, or leadership in the social realm for anthroposophists in the USA. Adeline Hope Bianchi’s voice kept speaking in dismay about this yawning void. The evils self-evident in the threefold spheres, led primarily by the government of the country of our incarnation, the USA, received no mention in the communications of the Society, national or international.
After my stint teaching at the Waldorf School of Pittsburgh, I started to network locally with social, interfaith, and arts activists. I was inspired to attend a series of Peace Days events September and October 2007 as a reporter and an artist. I created nineteen pastel drawings over three weeks, each depicting a social group interaction in artistic form. These may be viewed on the website below.
I shared my art project with a few anthroposophical friends; we connected with Adeline Hope Bianchi and started conversing via SocialSculptureUSA@gmail.com. Thus our initiative was launched through cyberspace in awareness of bringing our Michaelic threefold ideals to the internet. I announced the existence of this “listserv” in News for Members. I found I had access to several gmail websites and thus was born in spring 2008 http://SocialSculptureUSA.googlepages.com/home. As of November 2008 we have twelve members.
In the summer of 2008 I found http://groups.yahoo.com/group/anthroposophy, where I
encountered earnest spiritual science students grappling with the daunting
responsibilities of the Michael School to become engaged
in the social sphere and (so far) the meager success in doing so. Websites for the larger Society and some
local Anthroposophical Societies worldwide as well as the UK-based New View magazine carry social-economic
issues. Terry Boardman, a regular contributor to New View, also posts his historical-political articles on his own
website. There was a fascinating
interchange in 2008 on the above site: “Is the Internet Good or Bad for the
Consciousness Soul? [This site is now closed, but others are available for she who seeks.]
Our website started with Joseph Beuys’s social art and his application of Anthroposophical ideas to artistic and social action. Some were already connected with Shelly Sacks’s Social Sculpture group at Oxford Brooks University in England. Her installation Exchange Values was on view at the Goetheanum in the summer of 2007. Several responses are posted, including the negative phenomena it riled up in some.
Now I am attempting to start Action Orange, which would be an ongoing social sculpture in the streets with real people participating. The working flier is attached. Members of the Social Sculpture group and Stephen Hale have helped in the formative stages via internet exchanges. We are aware that the enactment of the movement in the four directions constitutes a Michaelic act for those of us familiar with the Foundation Stone. Since the four directions are invoked in the same manner in many cultures, particularly Native American, it doesn’t create a conflict for non-anthroposophists. Social Sculpture USA knows members of the Anthroposophical Society (so far) have not participated in social actions in significant numbers or visibility. Luckily, Action Orange will gather many in my community working for prisoners’ rights, demilitarization, and the end of torture.
I will be happy to share the outcome in a future report.
ACTION ORANGE PITTSBURGH
RENDITION AND TORTURE
A living street sculpture will soon be created in Pittsburgh.
In time it will become
an ongoing social sculpture in our region.
Citizens who want to express their concern for
and solidarity with those currently incarcerated unfairly
and/or illegally by the United States
will join to PROTEST THIS VIOLENCE
through artistic non-violent means.
We will begin at twelve noon at a downtown plaza.
There will be no speeches, no signs and no talking.
Photographs and videos will document the events.
We will share this action with inmates worldwide
through media, internet and email.
Everyone will wear something bright orange
in honor of the clothing prisoners are often required to don.
A hat, scarf, gloves, tie etc., will be sufficient
to mark yourself as a member of the troupe.
We will begin with a mass walk-in at one site,
and as numbers in Action Orange increase,
expand the number of places.
Take public transit or walk to the site
or park several blocks away.
Five minutes before NOON,
everyone will walk to the designated site.
On the hour, all will stand still where they are.
As the clock strikes the hour,
all will face first east for one minute,
then north, west, south--one minute in each direction.
All will face east again for one minute.
Then everyone will walk away in their own direction, silently.
receive an action invitation by emailing