The latest Slow Movement to follow is also about breaking from a past addicted to speed, but this time it’s a direct assault on 20th Century obsession with mass communication and spectacularization.
By Pierre Mansire
February 20th 1909. Marinetti publishes his futurist manifesto in the French newspaper Le Figaro, declaring that “Art… can be nothing but violence, cruelty, and injustice.” The futurists preached a rejection of the past, breaking with the old and embracing all things fast.
The 20th Century could be characterized, like the futurists prophesied, by the obsession with speed. The 20th Century is also remarkable by its obsession with production- as the constructivists understood it- and with mass-consumption, mass-communication and spectacularization. What is the place for diversity in it? What is the place for the individual in it? What is the place for contemplation in it?
Time to contemplate
Contemplation is a key-concept for any creator and therefore you need Time. The same is valuable for the audience. You can rapidly own a piece of art. But to properly appreciate an artwork, you need Time.
So the cult and the culture of speed, even though they are at the origin of very interesting creations, could also be fatal culturally to any elaborated form of art expression.
The times are changing. Art, Culture and Society too. Slow Future is celebrating, in 2009, the end of the fetishism of speed and of the futurist inheritance with a series of artistic and cultural manifestations, interventions, critical publications, manifestos and proclamations.
The climax falls on the 19th and 20th of February when the long expected birth of the New Time, the New Culture and the New Art- the Art of the Slow Future- will be made official.
Slow Future Manifesto
The audience will witness an alter-contemporary or alter-futurist manifesto, the Slow Future Manifesto, within two evenings featuring international artists rooted in Slow Future, working all autonomously and expressing their diversity in all possible ways.
Some have an eye for organic development perhaps, or the unfolding of a sound into music, others to the fluid outcroppings of explosive energy or the call and response within one body and its living relationship to the surrounding architecture*, or the diverting of the abundance of tools and materials shaped originally for mass-consumption purposes only.
They all share this characteristic of having given to their creation process the necessary time for contemplation and meditation, or having given themselves the space for spontaneous interventions, instead of following the dispiriting routine of dead-lines, forced repetitive processes of production and alienating communications and presentations strategies typical of mass-arts culture.
These artists and their art are representative of a strong current, mostly hidden underneath apparent mainstream culture, a current reaching out towards our Slow Future.
In all times and places, the individuals had to work from and with the surroundings where they lived. We are now living in an industrial and productivist culture and society which produces specific tools to exist.
M/s Stubnitz use to be an industrial fishing ship, berthed for now at NDSM, previously Amsterdam’s wharf. Both SPS and M/s Stubnitz were primary created with production and industrial goals. Both have been reconverted for cultural and artistic purposes. Smart Project Space is also a reconverted location with a cultural and artistic vocation.
This is also why, further than their technical capacities these two locations seem perfectly adapted to present forms of art born in industrial culture and society but remaining critical towards it and able to propose alternative culture.
The meaning of existence
So Slow Future is meant as an invitation to reflection on theoretical aspects. But also as an invitation to re-discover that moments of contemplation have a fundamental dimension in the existence of any individual.
Finally, regarding contemplation, the best way to reach it is certainly not to write about it, but to create in reality the situations where contemplation becomes possible again.
Therefore, Slow Future has invited the following international and local, from complete unknown to very famous artists, musicians and performers to join and create this moment:
- Hisako Horikawa (J-Tokyo). Dance. Co-founder of Body Weather with Min Tanaka.
- Pierre Mansire (F-Amsterdam).Visual installation “Slow Composition” and Action Lighting performance. his first “Slow Composition” was acquired by the Yves Klein Foundation.
- Andy Moor (UK-Amsterdam). Musician, guitarist from the world famous band The Ex.
- Jacques Foschia (B-Brussels). Musician and Composer. Makes instant compositions with the waves of old Philips radios.
- Hilary Jeffery (UK-Amsterdam). Composer and Painter. Drones Compositions.
- Anthony Carcone (F-Paris). Musician and Radio-France journalist. Disturbed strings instrument.
- DFF Music (US-Amsterdam), Sound Artist and Sheet metal player.
- Ema Nik Thomas (Ir-Amsterdam), Direct Dance. Nyghtbyrdz with Andy Moor (The Ex) and Pierre Mansire.
- Vilbjorg Broch (Dk-Amsterdam), Dance, Vocals and Text.
- Thomas Johannsen (D-Amsterdam) & Genetic Choor, Choral, in free improvisation.
- Amstel Quartet and Ivo Bol (NL-Amsterdam): with Remco Jak, Olivier Sliepen, Bas Apswoude and Ties Mellema.
- Eric Thielemans (B-Antwerpen), Percussionist and composer.
- Quick Silver, Slow Gold (NL- Amsterdam). Dance. Doron Hirsch (Is-Amsterdam), Marek Isleib (Cz-Amsterdam), Anani Kossianani (Se-Amsterdam), Shailesh (Su-Amsterdam), Marije Nie (NL-Amsterdam).
* “An eye for organic development perhaps, or the unfolding of a sound into music, others to the the fluid outcroppings of explosive energy or the call and response within one body and its living relationship to the surrounding architecture.” – Quoted from Marije Nie.