(work in progress)
When politics are spectacle, when protests and other ways of "resisting" feel pointless, when it seems that they won and there is nothing we can do, maybe we can act from the other end of reality, on the metaphysical plane. Civic Sorcery is a way of acting at the end of hope. No matter how "unscientific" or wacky it sounds, it might be a way to have a saying, an influence, it might be the only way left to reclaim politics, with a twist. They think that we're powerless, and we might be in the sphere they function and understand. Yet we're having power, and it's time to put it to good use. Civic Sorcery proposes to develop metaphysical tools to fight specific evils. In proximity and with the support of others, we will develop charms, rituals, prayers, curses and other metaphysical ways to affect reality through our bodies, drawings, objects, chants, words. We can draw from different cultures, but we'll mostly create our own sorceries and perform them all together for a greater effect. Civic Sorcery is art that metaphysically acts on the world – art as sorcery.This is not just a symbolic gesture. Sorcery is a human capacity that we have and there is vast evidence of its workings. Studies that are puzzling and unexplainable show that we have metaphysical capacities that can be very effective. For example, mysteriously and scientifically unexplainable, prayer helps in healing even for the people that you pray for. There is vast documentation about sorcery capacities in shamans, witches, saints, and people in general. For instance, in the documented "pointing the bone" shamanic practice – the person who had been ceremoniously pointed and cursed would go into a rapid decline and no treatment has been shown to prevent their soon to follow death. Our default scientism and physicalism infused perspectives render these things inconceivable. Yet, in all cultures, Western European until recently included, the fact that the body can affect events at a distance and to be affected was an unquestionable experience. Our bodies were forced out of these capacities to become machinic, suitable for industrialization and capitalism. That's why we are still culturally pressed to shy away from these zones.
Metaphysical practices have their meta-ethics – an impersonal, supra-human justice that comes from beyond. In many traditions, sorcery takes hold only if it's ethical. For sorcery to be effective it has to serve a greater good. If you try to abuse these powers for greedy personal gain, they might turn against you. There used to be an incorruptible metajustice at work, the metaphysical was keeping things in check – you cannot exploit and amass huge wealth if greed is a fundamental sin, destroying nature means killing your "mother", or destroying your soul. Capitalism is radically incompatible with these metaethics. To "progress" they needed to get rid of the spiritual. They had to burn the witches so a body as a mechanism, suitable for industrialization, to appear.
These zones are still tabu in current art, not only as subjects but also at a level of the function of art, yet, politically, ecologically and maybe also spiritually (to use another tabu word), being in a full mass extinction event, we have to explore uncomfortable zones, to open the frames, the paradigms, the world. It's time to reclaim metaphysical capacities and put them to good use. We don't know what a body can do when it stops being an empty anatomical mechanism, especially if it starts to believe in its possibilities.
Civic Sorcery session 1 - Green metarevenge in IOR park Bucharest. (18.09.2023)
Bucharest is an ecological disaster. Parks, green spaces are filled with concrete, terraces, kiosks, coloured plastics... or they are illegally closed to the public, privatized (arenele BNR, Casa Poporului), or they are turned into parking lots, or they are fraudulently retroceded and the trees are cut down, poisoned, burnt as now in IOR, Grozăvești... Bucharest is a car hell, with the worst traffic in Europe, the few bike lanes are dismantled, the city boils and the air is poisoned by millions of cars and the garbage burned by the waste mafia. In the rest of the country it's much the same, plus the obsession with highways (other environmental disasters), the railways are left in disrepair and the forests are rapidly cleared.
Those who are supposed to do something are corrupt or involved in these disasters. Although it is known where the imported UE waste is burned, everything is allowed to continue. Probably under the influence of the powerful car lobby, all the measures that are taken are for more traffic - widening streets, overpasses, more parking lots, and nothing is being done against traffic and pollution - encouraging public transport and cycling, discouraging the use of cars through legislation and infrastructure - 30 km/h speed limit, cycle lanes, high parking, congestion and pollution charges, boulevards and parking lots turned into gardens. In IOR they are poisoning, cutting and burning trees in an area of 12ha and instead of the fraudulently retroceded land being urgently confiscated and all those involved sent to jail, the authorities ignore or rather pick on the protesters. They changed laws to remove trees and green spaces from protection. Camping has been banned and they also want to ban access to more than half of the forests, to be able to clear them without any friction.
Apparently nothing can be done, all that is left is metaphysical activism and that is what we will do. From the silent media, to the corrupt administration and of course to the real estate sharks will be all subjected to our Civic Sorcery in a similar way in which the trees were subjected to their physical abuse. Civic Sorcery will be centered on the IOR and Bucharest mentioned cases, but will also be extended to other disasters of this type. It's time for them to get afraid.