FOP


Hosting Cosmological Change
09.23.2019, 8:44 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

image: smudge studio

Fifteen guests took their seats at the edge of a creek and night fell in Upstate New York. The low valley and absence of artificial light made darkness come quickly. A take-away gift booklet was distributed. Specially prepared moon/cosmos-viewing sweets in the Japanese tradition were offered. Hoji-cha tea was served in the spirit of ancient Taoist tea sages and monks. Moments of silent savoring, observation, and reflection were punctuated with words of introduction and provocation. The moon rose slowly through the surrounding trees. The humans who gathered were invited to sense the reality that the so-called “dark” cosmos night above us was actually filled with photons of light, streaming from the Sun and other stars. It’s a reality that has been shaping the geo-bio materiality of our planet for billions of years. And yet, our language and habits of perception had difficulty “seeing” the night sky as a flood of light.

Cosmos Night: Flood of Light was staged on September 8th, 002019 at Arts Letters & Numbers at 7pm, timed to coincide with the rising, waxing moon of early September.

The opportunity to spend time outdoors, undistracted, with a small group of people in the quiet of night is an increasingly rare experience. We remain committed to exploring what such micro-productions can offer when staged as aesthetic acts of hospitality for living with and through the Anthropocene.

A compelling question that drives our current work is: how might human minds/bodies maintain a sense of deep embeddedness within larger planetary/cosmic forces. False senses of separation from those forces are at the core of our current climate emergency. They also contribute to the many faltering approaches to “solve” it.  Empirical experiences of deep interconnection are severed by architecture, media, many modes of transportation, industrial-scale food production — as well as the language we use. We increasingly feel that offering aesthetic contexts designed to stitch humans back into the cosmos is a radical, ecological act.

As artists, we are seeking to do this by inserting the cosmological within the “environmental” through acts common to everyday life, such as sitting together, observing changing conditions such as light, drinking tea. Providing an occasion for humans to sense for themselves the variation of forces present and passing through planet Earth (wind, temperature, light etc.) — and beyond— while experiencing acts of hospitality, opens the potential to begin re-weaving our consciousness back into the cosmological context to which we belong.

image: smudge studio

*Unless otherwise noted, all micro-production images this page courtesy of —  and sincere thanks to — Lisa Hirmer.

** A small number of copies of the Cosmos Night: Flood of Light limited-edition zine are available. The booklet includes poetic and graphic transpositions of In Praise of Shadows, Sandokai, D.T Suzuki, yugen, Tan Twan Eng, We’Moon, Shurangama Sutra, No-Gate Gateway + David Hinton, Baisao, Kinkaku-ji. Please inquire through project page.

 


4 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Hi Smudge! Thanks for this update. Nice to connect with your thoughts and practice albeit virtually! Just read this:

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/09/23/jonathan-ledgard-believes-imagination-could-save-the-world

Made me think of you.

Much love! J

>

Comment by J

Thank you J! We miss you :) much appreciation for the link (and for still reading FOP!)

Comment by smudge studio

Smudge actions and FOP create wonder. I thank you time and again.

Take care,
Donna

Comment by donnafleischer

Thank you Donna! Let us know if you’re ever in New York, it would be our pleasure to make you tea.

Comment by smudge studio




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