11:00-11:15 Introduction to the project
1. What is the project about?
• How do we respond to the crisis condition we’re in, as well as the events and developments it is manifesting through?
• How do we approach these events experientially rather than mentally and rationally?
• What kind of relations and ways of being do we want to initiate?
2. Who is involved and how?
3. What have we done this summer?
4. Where are we at the moment and where are we heading?
5. What are the main themes we’ve been working with so far?
• Human awareness and perception – what are its limits and how can we move them?
• Hypersensitivity, responsiveness – what happens to us if we sensitise ourselves to what happens around us instead of blocking it or alienating ourselves from it? How do we sense into the effects we create with our own actions?
• (Inter)connectivity – what happens to others also happens to us (it’s the same thing)
• How do we live together with other beings and things?
• Affect and materiality – how do we encounter and respond to things we don’t know? How do we go beyond functionality and user-value? How do we meet things “as they are”, from their point of view rather than ours? > post-humanism
• Alienation, otherness and foreignness
• Weakness and non-colonization
1. You can begin from where you are at the moment.
2. Notice the degree to which you are a guest, or a visitor, in this space. The foreignness may manifest in various ways – notice what they are.
3. Move around the space as a guest. How do you feel? How does your gaze move, how do things and people appear to you?
4. You can look for a spot where you feel the most foreign, or where your guest-ness manifests itself strongly.
5. Gradually, begin to shift you orientation from that of a guest to that of a host, or a native – one who is at home in this space and identifies it as his or her own. Can you find a way to welcome or invite yourself into this space?
6. See how your way of moving or seeing things and beings changes. Where and how do you wish to be? How do you relate to others if no-one here is a guest?
7. Look at other people. Is there something in them that feels foreign to you? Is there a way for you to welcome it into the space?
8. Now you can share your experiences and observations.
Why do we work on hospitality?
1. Crisis. There are many things happening around us, and to us, at the moment, which feel unwelcome or foreign to us, such as perpetual violence, destruction, the disappearance of species and life forms, the depletion of resources, etc. We are violent towards each other, and also towards ourselves. The situation produces fear, resistance and alienation. How would our way of relating towards these things change if we tried to welcome or integrate them?
2. Inalienability. Violence emerges from alienation, fear and hostility. What happens to us if we move away from alienation, towards inalienability?
3. Conditional and unconditional hospitality (Derrida)
1. Introducing the structure of the day: lunch, workshop, discussion
2. Introducing the structure of the following days
13:00-14:30 Seeing is Receiving
In this exercise, we will explore the ways in which we see things, and how our way of seeing affects the way we perceive, receive and respond to them. Even if I will only be talking about sight, you can include and work with the other senses as well. Seeing something fully involves the whole body and affects our being on various levels.
We will concentrate on two main ways of seeing – you could think of them as two different gazes. The first one is a gaze that sees everything at once, without categorizing that which it sees. It is an all-inclusive, deconcentrated gaze. The second gaze is a devoted gaze: it sees only one thing at a time, but is devoted to seeing and receiving it fully. It looks deeper and deeper into that which it encounters.
Part 1: Intro/Mapping
1. Choose a spot that feels inviting to you at the moment. Look into the horizon.
2. Begin turning around to either direction. As you turn around slowly, notice what kind of objects and things appear in you field of vision. You can consider this as an initial mapping of the surroundings.
3. When you’ve arrived at your original location, turn around again. This time, try to see that which you excluded or did not notice the first time around.
Part 2: Seeing everything – an all-inclusive gaze
1. Map out the borders of your field of vision. You can use your hands as a tool: locate them at the edges of the field and move them slightly backwards so that you can no longer see them. Do the same with the upper and lower edges of the field.
2. Once you have a sense of the full width and height of your field of vision, try to see and include everything in it equally, so that nothing pops out or becomes more important than the rest. You can allow the contours of things dissolve, so that they begin to merge with each other. You do not need to distinguish between gestalt and background.
3. Once you have a sense of this way of seeing, you can turn around again. Notice how your perception of the environment has changed.
4. Gradually, you can let go of the exercise.
Part 3: Zooming in – a devoted gaze
1. Choose a single focus in your nearby surroundings. It can be anything.
2. Begin to zoom in on it. You can go physically closer and closer to it, if that helps. Try to become aware of every single detail, and include them all.
3. Once you feel like you’ve seen it all, look closer. See if you can go even deeper.
4. Begin to distance yourself from the thing you are perceiving. As you zoom out, you can become aware of the context the thing is embedded in, and the relations and networks it is a part of. You can perceive it from different angles and perspectives and see if its appearance changes.
Part 4: Shifting the gaze
1. Now, your task is to move in the surroundings on your own. You can shift between these two modes of perception and see what kind of movement this shift produces.
14:30-16:00 Including the (non)human in us
Part 1: The human
1. Pair up with someone.
2. Sit or stand facing each other.
3. Decide which one is the host, and which one is the guest.
4. The task of the host is to receive or include the other as fully as possible. The guest can focus on being received or included.
5. The host can see to what degree she/he is able to include the other, and whether there are things that feel difficult to include fully.
6. Change roles.
7. Both can let go of the roles and see what emerges. Notice how your being-with the other is affected by the exercise. If one needs to, one can change position in relation to the other.
Part 2: The nonhuman
1. Go for a walk in the surroundings (limited).
2. Find a being or a thing that feels foreign to you.
3. Position yourself next to it or facing it.
4. See how and to what degree can you receive or include it.
5. See how your being is affected by it.
6. When you move away from the being, see how your movement or way of being is still affected by the inclusion. Can you keep the other with you as you move?
7. You can stay with one single being the whole time. If you feel that the process of inclusion has come to an end or that nothing new emerges anymore, you may move from one being to another.
8. When I ring the bells, you may return to the place where we started. But keeping the beings still with you. When everyone has arrived we may let go of the exercise.