by Jana Astanov
CREATRIX Magazine invites you all to the conference
Art as Spiritual Practice, Art as Activism
December 28, 4:30-8:30pm
Part of NOUMENA: deLIGHT December 21-30th
Magic & shamanism series
With an art show Altars, Portals, Grottos
The Power of Water with Damali Abrams, Jennifer Taves, Megwyn White moderated by Jana Astanov.
Art as Spiritual Activism with Jill McDermid, Jaguar Mary X,
Hector Canonge, Nilton Maltz moderated by Claire Zakiewicz.
The zen master Thich Nhat Hahn has written that the wave does not need to die to become water for she is already water. Water then is both ubiquitous and at the same time a precious resource more valuable in some ways than even gold. For where we find civilization we find at its root, water. The great ancient Civilizations of Mesopotamia, the Sumerians, and the Akkadians where located along the Tigris and Euphrates river systems. The Nile too brought forth the wonders of ancient Egypt in Cairo all the way down to Luxor. Because water is necessary for our bodies, as well as for commerce, through the ships that we use to navigate both open waters and canals that we build. It can be a tremendous source of conflict for nations seeking to have it as both a natural resource and the means towards greater naval influence. So the power of water is both personal and universal. We drink it and bathe in it in order to stay alive and maintain our health throughout our lives. And as such water has found its way into the belief systems of people around the world, including major references in such works as the Bible, the writings of Mohammed, the Jewish Old Testament, the modern psychoanalysis fathered by Carl Jung, and the ancient astrology, both Vedic and Western, that bring symbolic meanings to our understanding of the human condition with continuing impact on today’s spirituality.
It would be wrong to think that when one says “ocean,” one names a “subject.” One should be more radical and know that to say “ocean” today is to say “art.” Art without the burden of institutional life, without the ideological twists of cultural politics, art as a practice that belongs and should belong to the artists, art facing the urgency of socializing with all those who care about life. In other words, to say “ocean” is to replace the historical notion of the avant-garde with a code that is not determined by form and the invention of new gestures, but by an investigation into the substance of life, identifying this as the mission of art.
This would imply that all artists directly interested in life under water and in nature, in new forms of sensing based on non-human perspectives, etc., are, of course, “in.” But it also means that all those who are not directly interested in thinking in these terms—who do not identify the intelligence of art as a radical interest in life—are even more important than those who are. Think about the current situation and all the structures constituting the art world, about the impoverishment of a language inherited from left and liberal social visions of the past and the impossibility of reinventing these dreams under the same premises, under a late-capitalistic economic system. Think about the need for a new sensorium to invent new notions, to build new sentences, to embrace a new idea of equality and social justice. If we think thus, we can see that to say “ocean” is to say the expansion of museums, of public space. We can see that the ocean is a source that reprograms our senses and entails a potential for a transformation that may affect the future of architecture, of communication, of gender entanglement, of economy, of art.
Jana Astanov will moderate the panel discussion “The Power of Water” with the following panelists:
THE POWER OF WATER
Damali Abrams – the Glitter Priestess
Megwyn White – Embodied Technologist and Sexologist
Jennifer Taves – Costumegasm Creatrix and Purrmaid Performer
Moderated by Jana Astanov – interdisciplinary artist + astrologer
The Park Church Co-Op
129 Russell St, Greenpoint, Brooklyn
G-Nassau, L- Graham
Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/590481908190032/