A SpRoUt manifesto (in the style of a relay race)

A SpRoUt manifesto (in the style of a relay race), Part I
performed by Laura Cull
as part of
Under Construction: [Staging the Future] – A SpRoUt project
Friday 19th September 2008
SC Gallery, Zagreb


In the beginning… In the beginning… In the beginning…

In the beginning the Earth was nothing but water and darkness. Mbombo, the white giant ruled over this chaos. One day, he felt a terrible pain in his stomach, and vomited the sun, the moon, and the stars. No.

In the beginning… Paleolit, Neolit i Eneolit, Umjetnost Egipta i Mezopotamije. Grzka Umjetnost. No.

In the beginning… Damballah created all the waters of the earth. Taking the form of a serpent, the movement of his 7,000 coils formed hills and valleys on earth and brought forth stars and planets in the cosmos. He forged metals from heat and sent forth lightning bolts to form the sacred rocks and stones. When he shed his skin in the sun, releasing all the waters over the land, the sun shone in the water and created the rainbow. Damballah loved the rainbow's beauty and made her his wife. No.

In the beginning… The Fifth Root-Race sprung from one single progenitor, who lived over eight hundred and fifty thousand years ago — at the time of the sinking of the last remnants of the great continent of Atlantis. No. No. No. In the beginning, there were eight – gathered around an oak struck by lightning in the forest of Saint-Nom-la-Bretèche, France. Amy, Hannah, Sam, Sam, Florian, Laura, Hayley, Naomi. And each one repeats (raise open hand): I declare the visible, named and ordered a permeable fiction. And each one repeats (raise open hand): Fiction is not fictional. Therefore allow fiction to rupture metis, to tear a hole in the sensible…

[mee-tis] a Titaness, the daughter of Oceanus and Tethys and the mother of Athena by Zeus. Zeus lay with Metis but immediately feared what was to come, as it had been foretold that Metis would bear extremely powerful children: the first, Athena and the second, a son more powerful than Zeus himself, who would eventually overthrow him. In order to avoid this fate, Zeus tricked Metis into turning herself into a fly - and then, once transformed, he promptly swallowed her. But Zeus was too late: Metis had already conceived a child. In time, in the inside darkness, she began making a helmet and robe for her unborn daughter. All her hammering as she made them causing Zeus great pain. Then, one day at the river Triton, Prometheus cleaved Zeus's head with an axe, from which Athena fully grown, armed, and armored.

[mee-tis] a Titaness
[mey-tees] any person of mixed ancestry.
[may-tiss] A crossbred animal
the body of a lion and the head and torso of a woman.
But no Oedipus. Or a new riddle: how to walk on many legs, how to see with many eyes?

And then there’s the answer: (whispered) We need to decelerate. Maybe we need new thoughts less than we need to decelerate, to reduce our thoughts, to refold them into other thoughts, and to recycle them. Once artists were able to take tens of years to finish a work of art. Maybe put away your project, forget about it, bring it back years later, finish it after you have become a different person.

Or a new riddle:
Flying Pan (Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec)
Skip in the Woods (John Constable)
Night Swimming (Bill Viola)
Day Swimming (David Hockney)
Dancing Skeletons (Susan Hiller)

The Sisters begin by asking, "Who is this one?" And then there's the answer, "We are this one". No solitary genius; everyone is a kind of transmitter for a flow of energy and ideas, and only egotists would grab an idea and call it theirs. No originator or derivative. The message of the Sisters is that we are plural. So they tell the “man alone”, The Captain: Horatio Hornblower – born on the 4th of July, and was I – “I”, alone in the sea, nothing but water and darkness. Not knowing whether we are at war or not at war because of the time it takes for the message to arrive.

HMS Hotspur, Retribution, Indefatigable, Nonsuch and the contents thereof – there is to be no men aboard this ship. In the centre of the ship is to be a wooden table. On the table must be placed a glass case and in that case is to be placed a golden egg. Engraved upon that egg shall be the following words: Let not man touch this egg lest his eyes be many.

Hold out your hand and I will tell you your future. Your past on the left, future on the right. Punch on the right; the baby, Judy, all the animals, death, and the devil on the left. Two hands fighting. Follow the lines: the Apollo line and Mercury line. At the tips, between lines and crepuscules, after beginnings and between ends. Kollectiv deeds (murmuring, multiple, mythic – Apollo, Zeus, Metis). Every gesture, each despotic coordinate, becomes a ruinous mount. Ipso facto: No need for the tribunal’s pronouncement – it’s already happened, by the deed itself, in the act – irretrievable, no going back, done done:

You will master the art of delivery, a corporeal eloquence.
(falling into inarticulacy) “Words are to be delivered out from the lips, as beautiful coins newly issued from the mint, deeply and accurately impressed, perfectly finished, neatly struck by the proper organs, distinct, sharp, in due succession, and of due weight. No stain of rusticity”

(whispered) A peripheral landscape is our backdrop, we can see ourselves better there. We need a pre-colour screen world and a clear large sky – for we are complicated enough. The shingle at the edge of the beach is reclaimed. We are thinking laterally. We are not thinking. Doing. Particularising: A rare pioneer plant taking nitrogen just from the air, as there may be no soil. Listening: Hearing the wind and the power-plant in equal parts. Echoing: Concrete concave dishes capture voices distant and near. Responding: Low-rise gardens are suggested by salt-happy weeds Discussing: Unlike the land, which sleeps, we ask ‘what do you think?’ The shingle talks to the sea and there is an agreement Encapsulating, remembering: The fresh weatherproof paint dries on the sheds and blends into the colour scheme. Later, there are hand drawn and celluloid versions of our selves as we were momentarily there.

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