Kammari Residency – introduction to our thinking
Kammari Research Group is a collective of artists and researchers that, among other things, runs Kammari Residency. This brief introduction attempts to communicate, in general, some of the foundations of our thinking and functioning.
We invite all our visiting artists and researchers to relate to this text, challenge it and engage in a dialogue with the space, the people and the ideas presented.
Briefly, the main challenge is how to tackle the two-fold task of becoming conscious of the material relations determining our experience, as well as the ideologies determining our emotions and thinking.
Our actions and thinking rely on a material reality. When, as is usually the case, this is ignored, action and thinking become disconnected and our critique and work remain, on a fundamental level, irrelevant, a form of pseudo activity, which is not only a form of passivity, but also possibly preventing important change in our society. This is important in terms of understanding how societal change can happen in the face of the acute ecological, social and political crisis, that we now face in the transition period from the global industrial modernity that excessive use of finite fossil fuels made possible.
Even in the remote Kammari Residency, we live and work in a globally connected world. Cheap labour is working for us somewhere, fossil fuels magically run everything from food production to infrastructure and economic and political structures distribute power in a global network. Any work or research aiming to understand ways forward in terms of a more sustainable society, must be conscious of all relations it and its surrounding society depends on. Therefore we want our research, thinking and work to be based on the acknowledgement of the interconnections of all of these structures, and our responsibility for them.
With this in mind, the aim of the project is to progress, in theory and practice, in building a space that includes experiments on material autonomy, theoretical developments, post-fossil future consciousness, contemporary art practices and experimenting on systems of ecological sustainability.
Experimental thinking – understanding modernity through ideology
One of the main aspects affecting our thinking, and hence the way we perceive and act in the world, is the appeal of ideologies. We, as modern subjects, seem irresistibly drawn to determined, regulated and controlled systems of thought that hinder individually responsible and free thinking. And infamously most of this happens unconsciously, or at least passively and unnoticed from the daily, active consciousness.
So, while each individual’s thinking and experiential worlds are infinitely unique, we at the same time seem to think and act in significantly uniform ways in social groups. In this given tension we tend to experience ourselves as split between, on one hand, socially determined identities, and on the other hand, a “real” self hidden behind them. This picture is in itself an illusion and a fundamental trait of the structure of ideology. In turn, we suggest that the uniqueness of every individual should be understood as an open, undetermined and conflicting process, where each one is constituted by his/her/their relatedness to other people, animals, plants and objects.
Understanding ideology and how it determines our thinking and relatedness is an urgent political project and is thus an organic part of our research and work.
Art is a practice that has a chance to challenge ideology through experiential experimentation. Philosophy is the practice of challenging ideology in thinking. We work in both and aim to combine the two where possible.
This essentially requires working with other artists, researchers, thinkers, writers, performers, musicians etc. The Kammari Residency is a space for such encounters.
The Kammari Research Group