[ The Politics of the Heart ] :a multidisciplinary field of community. What if politics would become a poetical instrument? What if nature would be our forum out of which we would give shape to society? One of the aims of the Milena principle is to create a forum for cross-border activities, working with politics as a poetic, creative and human instrument. As 'artists-nomads of a new era' we are moving in a field of art, ecology, philosophy and politics, fed by utopian ideas. Concepts as "solidarity", "connection" and "togetherness" are for us an inexhaustible source of inspiration. Our aim is to organize seminars, workshops and events with participants from different areas. Our recent activities with students and artists in Athens and Dresden / Jahnishausen are based upon these ideas.
In this way a thought is expressed which exteriorizes a form of art that does not want to explain but rather becomes an instrument of experience, a form which does not pretend to want to fight its existence or run from it, but one which values experience. This form of art is not based on exhibiting the human sorrow in our society, a sorrow that is unmistakably present in our environment and in political world events. It is a form of art, which is autonomous and tries to offer alternatives, which based on the thought for fellow man want to give a positive impulse to society.
A network based on the nomadic aspect typical of the former renaissance artists, who did not only travel with their works throughout Europe, but also made connections with the places they visited. Albrecht Dürer [1471-1528] visited Antwerp in 1520: the Milena principle wants to actualize this old tradition. These great renaissance persons found each other via their common interest and thinking. Through their travels they moved boundaries, they travelled with and via ideas. Through exchanges of ideas with artist friends, whom they visited during these long journeys, they created a network of solidarity and affinity.
The aspect of the artist as a ‘playing human being’ leads to conditions which enable the artist to discover and grow. This laboratory, the search as an interiorized process, results in wanting to see more in the reality surrounding us, with the work of art as an end result that gives shape to these thoughts. The 'Path of Dürer' is about an inner journey, a searching trip, the nomadic elements of being on the road. Every gesture which makes sense is evidence of the extra element in reality. We want to consider this gesture artistically and let it grow. The creative energy does its job.
Ecology has always been one of the conceptual foundations of the Milena principle. All projects are starting from an ecological approach. We are working with environmentalists, arts centers that combine art and ecology in their functioning like the convent of Tibães in Portugal, Der Wachsblock [ Guido Stemme and Christian Hardt ], Ingrid Pee [Kassel Germany ] and the Accademia Dantesca [the ecological community of Jahnishausen, Germany ]. The Castle Jahnishausen will be a meeting place between artists, cultural experts and ecological and environmental workers and act as an interdisciplinary center with projects open to participation for a large public. Ecology as a state of mind.
How does one “green” an economy? For governments seeking a cleaner, more efficient, and ultimately more sustainable pathway to economic prosperity, this question entails both promise and great challenges. For one, the scale of transformation it requires is exceptionally daunting: in his 2011 State of the Union speech, for instance, President Barack Obama called on the United States to generate 80 percent of its electricity from clean energy sources and to give 80 percent of Americans access to high-speed rail, both within 25 years.1 Compared to where the country stands now, these objectives presuppose unprecedented levels of investment in new infrastructure, new technologies, and relevant skills and education; yet at the same time, they also hold the prospect of new opportunities for job growth, innovation, industrial efficiency, and energy independence. With that in mind, one will invariably wonder, is such a transformation feasible at a time of constrained public budgets and slowly recovering economies? And perhaps more importantly, are the expected benefits of such a green transformation compelling enough to persuade a public that is exposed to conflicting messages about the underlying rationale, is critical of new regulation and expenditure, and generally is disillusioned with political authority? Fortunately, the green transformation of economies is no longer a theoretical concept. Today it is not only saving the earth: we also need to shape a new civilization model.
A project to promote the qualities of silence and space in an urban context. Our project is about the experience and importance of urban silence and the connection between space and silence.
Not the physical definition of silence, or the acoustical definition counts. Through a phenomenological approach to silence the artists explore how sound unambiguously works on the human being (in this case in an urban context). Silence is an instrument of experience and as well as an instrument of knowledge.
The project wants to realize a cultural bridge between the presence of silence as access to historical and natural soundscapes and the inner experience of silence. Silence is not limited to a material-accoustical aspect, silence is as well a part of city life as an inner space, a breating space.
This project tries to involve young people in the making of and creating of (urban) silence. We invite students and young artists into the design process and try to engage them in the future development of their environment and to excite them about the city. Approaching silence will explore silence in the city, looking for design tools for the shaping of places and urban experiences.
Some members of the Milena principle already are working for years with the theme of "silence". In 1993 visual artist Stefaan van Biesen realised a silence project in an urban context in his homeland: "Deafening, Silence". the MIlena priciple is making a connection with silence artist: they are a source of inspiration. Like for example: Joseph Beuys, James Lee Byars, or the Spanish artist Tres Silencio, [ one of the European living icons of silence and art ].
Ervery human being an artist ⋈ a track of memories that connects us.
In this memory track we refer to ‘the birth of the tragedy’, Friedrich Nietzsche’s first publication, in which he focuses his field of vision on the Pre-Socratic period, the period during which one departs from a moving, changing world. Heracleitos states that as a human being one finds oneself in a constantly streaming river. With ‘the birth of the tragedy’ Nietzsche starts a return to this original time of movement and change. With this, a second renaissance of a philosophic culture starts, which had been regarded as primitive for hundreds of years.
We see the German artist Joseph Beuys [ 1921- 1986 ], as a central figure in this second renaissance. In the early bud of this new renaissance one finds a figure like Caspar David Friedrich, who already points to this change, as a forerunner. The landscape becomes autonomous, a world on itself without using any religious symbolism or connotation. It shows an inner world. It is the visualized experience of the tragic human being, the experience of a lack.
Throughout history one finds figures, who find themselves time and again within this range of ideas or world view. This continuation of an unmistakable tradition within the art philosophical way of thinking keeps on growing further. It is anything but maintaining an existing world view, rather an actualization of the discovery of the human and creative process. This is in the finding of oneself and the passing on of this finding oneself, not passing on content but experience, a process. Just like Joseph Beuys passed on the torch.
Tea rituals as a philosophical meeting place, a resonating field of poetry and togetherness. Again: 'the politics of the Heart'...
The concept of a 24 hour art project is an interesting premise. The temporary nature and intensity of such events do not work as a mirror of the contemporary informative transience. But by creating a field of timelessness within a measured time in which concepts like 'silence', 'slowness', 'the body as unit measure' among others get a place. This concept of an exhibition as an event, a process in a short time span, integrates both showing the works of art and having performances take place, which are inspired by the place or the happening itself. The visitors are invited to participate in the event. They complete the exhibition by their presence. The audience is becoming the work of art.
'About melancholy' The Campagne Drongen Belgium 2004.
An exhibition as a lab [ Amsterdam 2006 ⋈ a living room ]
At the end of July 2006 the Milena principle was invited to be the guest of the German artist Niki Fröhling in Amsterdam. This ‘Tafel der Ontmoetingen’ (= Table of Meetings) was the provisional first tailpiece of their collective ‘Gepäckträger’ (= Luggage carrier) Project (how long is now) that started in Berlin in the beginning of July 2006. The artists of the Milena saw each other again for the first time in Amsterdam after their wanderings in Europe. A 24 hour exhibition was realized starting from interaction and dialogue, taking advantage of place and time. The theme was 'Bewoner van steden' (= Resident of cities). Again this exhibition was realized as a laboratory. In this exhibition new works of art were realised with minimal means in situ, forming part of an easily transportable and light travelling exhibition. The day before Geert Vermeire had described drawings of Stefaan van Biesen, which they had made during their stay in Berlin. Printed photo material of the ‘Watercurtain-performance’ in the Bellevuepark and the 'Grunewald Variations' in the Grunewald in Berlin were described and provided with notes and then hung on the walls of the rooms.
The Table of Meetings [ a room as a meeting place ].
The lectures are usually held in private homes. The idea of a room as a meeting place enables the friendly sharing of experiences and ideas, elaboration of new travelling projects, finding others in a common, artistic and social manner. This visionary character of art is the underlying basis of the Milena. During these meetings small multidisciplinary exhibitions are also held. These expeditions have a high 'laboratory value' and the performances, installations, drawings, poetry and discussions take place in an organic way. It is this continuous experimenting with different possibilities that leads to a specific place.
On Sunday morning 23rd July Niki Fröhling opened her house for the invitees. Hundreds of strips of paper from the pages of a book were scattered on the parquet floor. Everybody walked on these words. A few hours earlier Geert Vermeire had written one word on several of these strips of paper. These were lying on a table, around which the guests could sit, talk and eat together. The art and the house merged, the centre of the exhibition was a big table in the living room, where the artists and visitors exchanged ideas. The sensual elements and enjoyment was reflected in a feast, that was shared with the visitors coming and leaving the table of meetings.
Geert Vermeire and Stefaan van Biesen staged a (sitting) performance 'Unisound'. Their silence imposed silence upon the people present. After this long silence the first word was spoken, they then conversed with each other by means of short poetic sentences. They gave literary improvisations, illustrating expressive landscapes and provided a dreamy reflection on their visit to this city and past ‘Gepäckträger’ (= Luggage carrier) experiences. This was something that was very much appreciated. A number of fragments from the letter cycle ‘Bewoner van steden’ (= Resident of cities) was read by Stefaan van Biesen and Geert Vermeire. One of these letters had been written on the spot by Geert Vermeire the day before this occasion.
performance 'Unisound' Geert Vermeire + Stefaan van Biesen.
Filip Van de Velde gave an explanation of his E=Mc² performance as well as a lecture on phenomena with the cloister of Le Corbusier in Evreux in France as the central idea.
Brooklyn Grange is the product of Wisconsin native and Head Farmer Ben Flanner, who in 2009 started the Eagle Street Rooftop Farm, the first rooftop soil farm in NYC. Flanner’s interest and passion for farm-to-table food led to a farming team with roots in the restaurant business. The owners of Roberta’s in Bushwick, Chris Parachini and Brandon Roy, as well as restaurant veteran Anastasia Plakias, sustainable food advocate Gwen Schantz, and the team’s first apprentice Rob Lateiner, in addition to dozens of volunteers, all contribute to the farm’s growing success. The team partnered with Bromley Caldari, a NYC architect firm dedicated to problem solving, and Acumen Capital Partners, a private company dedicated to the reuse and sustainable renovation of commercial spaces in New York City. Acumen has leased the warehouse rooftop to Brooklyn Grange for 10 years. Brooklyn Grange‘s organic produce is grown in 7.5” deep beds with Rooflite soil. Produced by Pennsylvania soil company Skyland, Rooflite is a lightweight soil composed of organic matter compost and small porous stones which break down to add trace minerals that are needed for the produce to grow into a healthy and mature state. The use of organic soil means that everything produced by Brooklyn Grange is sustainable and good for you. The farm had a nine-month growing season last year, and during the winter, they used cover-crops such as rye, buckwheat, vetch, and clove, resulting in a year-round production of organic goodness right in the heart of NYC!
Ben Flanner and his team are community oriented which has helped the young for-profit business succeed. The farmers at Brooklyn Grange hope to reconnect the city to its farms and farmers by improving city citizens’ access to good, healthy food. Ultimately, the team’s goal is to show that urban farming is a viable enterprise and livelihood that contributes to a sustainable economy and the health of the city. The produce is available for everyday New Yorkers as well as businesses, which in addition to Roberta’s include Vesta in Astoria, Marlow & Sons in Williamsburg and many others throughout the city. Brooklyn Grange is looking forward to expanding to many more roofs to help increase the education and training available to those interested in urban farming.
To get involved with the farm, visit Brooklyn Grange’s website. Read more: Brooklyn Grange is the World's Largest Rooftop Farm! | Inhabitat New York City