ruth.catlow at furtherfield.org
Thu Apr 24 12:15:49 CEST 2008
Apologies for the delayed response to your thoughts and observations
about Fundamentalism v Evolution - another dilemma of coexistence
While we were in Banff we set ourselves a number of things to
investigate: approaches to artistic collaboration, artware for live
networked performance, free and open tools for digital media production.
We had worked out from a few prior experiments that the most
productive artistic collaborations arose from themes that tapped into
genuine, ongoing controversies (or bickering) that arose between us
and that also had a universal resonance. We also knew that we wanted
to create our first work within VisitorsStudio as a platform that we
are already familiar with.
In our search for a juicy controversy for our collaborative
performance in VisitorsStudio we looked through a range of (often
newly published) media archives. We discovered a 1925 silent news
reel that portrayed the news of the day about the Scopes Monkey Trial
by staging a head on collision between two trains upon which painted
in large letters were the words Fundamentalism and Evolution.
We also had an idea that we wanted to create works whose form/medium
was somehow itself expository of the difficult subject under discussion.
The key role of looped (and therefore repeating) media files within
VisitorsStudio mixes provided (in my mind at least) a formal and
aesthetic reinforcement of the recurring clash between fundamentalist
Christians and advocates of an evolutionary theory of existence.
To get closer to the subject and to develop positions on the many
arguments, we gathered and manipulated files from all over the web
and from the VS archive. Then we both spent time creating mixes in
the solo studio using montages of looped sound and image. Returning
to the Live studio together we reconstructed these mixes in sequence
which revealed a series of tangles in the dilemmas; unexpected
alliances and shared world-views in strange places.
We realised that often the main figurehead protagonists of our
conflict- fundamentalist beilevers in the literal truth of the book
of Genisis and the Atheistic champions of the evolutionary principle
of existence- often shared similar approaches to their beliefs/
knowledge and its dissemination and deployment (in the form of
digestible stories and descriptions) through institutions constructed
and maintained by mainly male hierarchies.
However there appeared to be at least one core difference in
approach. Fundamentalism takes the written and unchanging Word of God
as an eternal authority (choosing to ignore the ramifications of
endless translation and mutations and the natural wear and tear of
politics on the Word) whereas the theory of evolution proposes
endless, fundamental change through repetition and small mutations in
response to changing conditions over an epic time-scale- evolution is
the constant unchanging principle of change; )
And no I can't conceive of a personal interventionist God and I don't
think Marc does either, but instead that we evolve together and that
this can and does bring about individual personal transformations.
Transformation appears to be another common preoccupation of both
Fundamentalism and Evolutionary theory- then the argument is about
whether the value of this transformation lies in the times of our
lives or in a proposed afterlife!
Thanks again Annie
On 20 Apr 2008, at 12:25, aabrahams wrote:
Dear Ruth and Marc,
I just watched
Fundamentalism v Evolution
another dilemma of coexistence
the archives of your performance at Banff
I am impressed, It's beautiful, and it brings on reflexion!
While watching I sometimes thought the whole thing was promoting a
believe in God. If it wasn't for the undertitle and the context I
would, could believe you being fundamentalists.
"genes are forever" ?
I was wondering how people reacted after your performance. Could you
please tell us more about it, and maybe also about your stay in Banff?
The piece has a good pace, beautiful sound, it's not imposing, but
letting you time to adjust, to find your way, and all the time it
isn't where I thought it would be, it doesn't bring me where I
thought it might bring me. That's probably it's force..
I wish someone would write about it.
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