"Artwork" recontextualizes and activates artworks in a "technique"/"method" format. It borrows from somatic, spiritual, therapeutic methods and aesthetics but is based on art. Why all the effort to create artworks just to be finished in objects and products to be consumed? Sometimes you can have the feeling that the final products, the "artworks" are the tombstones of the practices, thoughts, affects, perspectives behind them. Artworks should be practiced. Art shouldn't just be seen, it should be lived. Artwork transfers to life art instruments, processes, practices, aesthetics, exploratory attitudes, and introduces an art sensibility and attention in everyday perceptions, in the senses, in what we already see, hear, touch, feel, do. It's an artwork and a new method at the same time. Artwork is ambiguous, depending on the context (art, philosophy, spirituality, therapy, education, literature, alternative medicine), it can appear as performance, therapy, exhibition, technique, workshop, promotional event, text, artwork or a combination of these. Ideally, audiences / clients / visitors from many of these fields are brought together in the same event. The meeting of these publics, conventions and perspectives is an important layer of Artwork.
Our lives are formed by the culture in which we are, by our mental environments and embodied certainties. To shape them differently we need some practices that act at the level of their structures – technologies of the self, forms of life experiments. They were the domain of religion, and they can feel disciplinary, rigid and inadequate now, many not updated in hundreds or thousands of years. We become what we do, our practices. If our practices are created for another epoch, for a totally different type of subjectivity, disciplinary, conventional…, that's what we become. Forms of experience and practice that appear in dialog with contemporary situations and phenomena are proposed in art. It's the domain where new answers, and awareness of new problems appear. Many artworks explore new thoughts, new sensibilities and forms of experience. Not just for the sake of novelty but out of an involvement with personal and collective contemporary issues. Nietzsche saw the potential and the need in approaching life through art but he noticed that, sadly, the artists are not applying their craft to it. Artwork aims to remediate this, and to contribute to the urgent project of affecting the forms of life that enable the current realities. Contemporary art has at its core the drive to surpass itself, to deviate from the consensus and mess with its own axioms, through works that expand what can be considered art. In art, and especially performance you can sometimes feel that body practices can give access to the meta-conceptual, to the levels where the implicit perspectives, realities are shaped. Artwork is interested in these meta-experiences, meta-practices that shape the quality of other practices, and what and how it is possible to experience things in general. We become what we do, our practices. We can be artworks.
Description for therapy contexts
The therapeutic and transformative functions of art are often minimized and avoided because of the impression that they diminish an artwork, or expel it from the art field. Yet, there were artists who transformed their lives or parts of their lives into art. Artwork explores the opposite, the transformation of art into life – the embodiment of artworks based forms of thinking, feeling and acting. Being centered on artworks, the Artwork method might appear as paradoxical and counterintuitive at times, deviating from the well meaning, enforced positive feel of most therapeutic approaches.
Most somatic / spiritual practices aim at improving strength, balance, coordination, flexibility, appearance, Artwork, through works like Collapse Yoga, listen to the deep desires of the body for asymmetry, incoordination, weakness, relaxation, unbalance, abandon, collapse, freedom.
Most somatic / therapeutic / spiritual practices aim at self-awareness and self-knowledge. Artwork, through works like Unimages, makes us increasingly unknown, stranger and incomprehensible to ourselves and others.
Most practices seek normalization and control of emotions. Artwork, through works like Unexperiences, deviates affectivity, creating artificiality and playfulness in our own states, opening us to meta-experiencing.
Most practices aim for more clarity, light, safety. Artwork, through works like Fear of Darkness (Dead Thinking) makes the body sensible to the fear of darkness, as the royal bridge to the unknown.
Most therapies want to enhance the stability of our reality. Artwork through works like Undreaming approaches reality as virtual reality, as a dream that can be eventually Undreamed.
Most somatic / spiritual practices idolize life. Artwork, through works like Unexist, connects us with death.
Most practices speak about love as a nice abstract attitude towards nature and the others that it's good to have. Artwork, through works like Love is interested in embodying love – it actualizes love in the body, sometimes as an ecstatic, unbearable feeling.
Most practices push for sociality. Artwork, through works as Pillar Artist, agrees with Simondon that we have to pass through the ordeal of solitude, to get to the "collective" – to form the necessary affects and capacities, the body that is truly capable of community.
Most somatic / spiritual practices pursue "presence". Artwork, through works like Unhere, introduces disconnections from the time, place and situation in which we find ourselves, alienations that open the possibility of new connections.
Description for writing contexts
For each work actualized in Artwork will be a text. The texts are based on notes written from inside, while practicing the artworks. They combine the style of explorers' live diaries with theoretical inputs associated with those explorations. In the past, the unknown was spatially distributed, the extraordinary was geographically accessible. There were fantastic stories and speculations about places like Antarctica, Amazonia… which were firing the imagination of explorers. There were alien cultures, subjectivities that had the power to activate possible exits from the implicit certainties of one's time and space. Now cultures are more and more homogeneous. It feels like there is nothing to explore, that we already know what is, there is nowhere to go. In this situation, art can be one of the last possible explorations still available to us. Contemporary art has at its core the drive to surpass itself, to deviate from the consensus and mess with its own axioms, through works that expand what can be considered art. It's where new territories can be explored.
Chaptersof a future Artwork book:
Artwork workshop at Beyond School, Minitremu Târgu Mureș:
Artwork workshop at ETI Sovata: