Multi Arts Retreat Canberra
points for the establishment of a multi-arts retreat in the ACT
draft January 2011
from the MultiArts Inc proposal of January 2010
social achievement and influence commences with people; people
meeting people; people sharing idiosyncratic notions of experience
and reality; people trying to identify their reality through shared
paradigms; people identifying differences; people expressing;
creating; people ..."
establishment and continued operation of a MARC would enable each
participant member group to:
its artistic techniques in a fully professional setting;
and network its activities Internationally;
the very best professionals to undertake these tasks;
a technological state-of-the-art workshop for preparation,
experimentation, recording and work-in-progress presentations;
on-site over-night accommodation for artists and participants in residence
with other groups and encourage inter-active proposals and activities.
of funding for MARC will become available through:
of artistic products (ie. theatre, film, video, DVD, Internet
products, contracted expertise, publications);
for individual projects (gained as a result of having professional
out of professional expertise and resources
groups and associations hiring the venue for workshops and activities
level of infrastructural public funding.
why should MARC
be supported in this way?
cultures and societies need injections of imagination and intuition
in order to survive crises. MARC
offers an alternative laboratory and performance arena utilizing
theatre, dance, digital/photographics on-stage, on-screen, on-line
through which human beings may explore the human condition into the
very psyche of cultural and personal expression. The mysteries of
life and existence are the subject of our exploration.
use of rites, rituals, symbolic action have all been used to evoke
the powers of nature or draw focus for areas of experience that are
not easily defined or explained. Sex, power, love, hate, survival,
acceptance and rejection and the need for some representation of a
paternal god and an all embracing goddess are themes that appear in
virtually all layers of art throughout history. However, new
technologies pre-empt new modes of expression.
an enlightened artistic beacon to which all like-minded travellers
will gravitate and find support for the creation of daring new
visions and structures for staging theatrical events;
opportunities to create and present theatrical mixed media, theatre
and dance events and works of visual art in a conducive atmosphere of co-operation
international infra-structural promotions networking with
like-minded companies which seek cultural and social reform through
arts practice and related by-products, writings and practices;
and stimulate new writing and works of art that inspire local
cultural, spiritual and creative exploration in form and content;
radical writings in arts expression, communication and philosophy;
an education unit capable of stimulating community knowledge and
action in art form and multi-media challenge to orthodox mass media presentation;
research and experimentation in metaphorical cross-cultural
referencing for artisticl presentation and audience perceptions;
cross media links in the development of content for live arts,
on-screen and on-line presentation.
whole notion of arts sits uncomfortably with the dominant world view
of reality being a constantly packaged commodity.
a form of expression and communication, the arts have little to do
with being a product. It is a process of engagement. The critics will
say "yes" but unfortunately, this precludes professional
arts activity. They argue for instance that there is little point in
training actors for a profession which hardly exists any more.
Statistically, it can be shown that only a minute percentage of
theatre is created by new practitioners and writers.
Mostly, it is of a museum variety with historical value. The energy
for new creations is all in film and television.
convincing! But all social achievement and influence commences with
people; people meeting people; people sharing idiosyncratic notions
of experience and reality; people trying to identify their reality
through shared paradigms; people identifying differences; people
expressing; creating; people!
(ie. live presentation including dance, image theatre, music,
multi-media) exemplifies the relationship between people; people as
artists; people as observers; people as participants; people as
critics; people as the ocean through which thought travels; activity
through which artistic observation and creation emerges and manifests
itself; through which we are shocked and shaken by the defiance of
others in our midst who dare to challenge and proffer alternative
view points and assessments of the human laboratory!
self-conscious separation of arts from spirituality and social
integration is leading to its implosion. The disintegration is from
within the processes of its operation and implementation. So
irrelevant and marginalized is its perceived role that any serious
review of its working and operation is conducted by accountancy firms
within an industry paradigm that takes no account of spiritual and
social health benefits to a culture and / or society.
creeping bureaucratic collectivization of arts endeavour and
creation is reversing the function of arts as an innovative,
imaginative and essentially stimulating process to that of a self
conscious matrix of outcomes pitted against marketing research. The
individual voice of rage and perception is being constantly blunted
and silenced by the will of coercive and institutionalized "expertise".
vulnerable and tentative steps in an individual creation are being
institutionally appropriated by interventions from both monetary and
ideological forces that ultimately destroy whatever might appear
outside of the acceptable and fashionable forms of presentation.
Checks and balances are being applied at all levels of theatre
funding and creation that make the presentation of individual insight
and perception almost impossible.
personal 'i' is being jettisoned from both the ideological 'right'
and 'left' of the socio/political spectrum. "i" is harder
to manage than the self-conscious "we" of perception.
"i" is silenced by self-censoring and imposed constraint.
"i" becomes identified with the protestant ethic and
American individualism. The paradox is lost. For without a strong
sense of "i" there is little sense of "we" and
what there is can only be made seem real by unseen controllers of
agendas to which the "we" sheepishly follows. It's not only
up to the social scientists, the agendists and the high priests to
examine the truth and falsehoods which present to social humanity. It
is also up to the artists and those who practice the art of theatre.
Multi Arts Retreat is
not an artistic organization but rather a facilitator of artistic
individuals and groups with like-minded determination to express the
personal "i" through a variety of art forms. Its function
and co-ordinate activities and projects;
a legal entity for administration of funds and resources;
and administer public liability and other insurance funds;
and promote research and training in the emergent areas of interest
and concern to members;
and promote new ideas, productions and like-minded works from around
works of John
Ralston Saul, Edward
de Bono and Paulo
particularly informative. We also owe a debt to the work of Carl
weaving of theories and abstractions with practical applications
requires the messy application of emerging paradigms to assist us
with this task. We have not completed this process. Even if such
completion were desirable, it is unlikely to ever be achieved. All we
can do is to add to the growing body of knowledge that relates us to
the universe. The acceptance that art and theatre is somehow integral
in this process is a hunch that needs backing if it is going to be
fully tried and utilized. The very least achievement will be engaging
theatre. The very best will be an advancement of our understanding of
ourselves as social beings in relation to an even greater entity
through which we exist.
said this, Freire's concept of praxis
is particularly useful; however it is outside the closed reference
points offered by most arts critiques and rationales for organization
and evaluation. We accept its basic premises and wish to apply it to
artistic product and creation. While Saul offers the most useful
philosophical framework, de Bono offers highly significant and practical
implementation of creative processes and stimulating thinking on an
individual level. The assumption in all of this is that our artistic
product is not isolated from the labour of the rest of humanity.
short, it means we are developing open systems of practice rather
than the closed systems of operation mostly seen in theatre arts
organization and programming.
Organizations that are examples of similar retreats
a look at an excellent example of a non-religious / non-denominational
American Cultural Laboratory Retreat Centre