- Residency 2017
- Extra Sensory Perception
A Happy Workplace is a Productive One
Selk’nam, Tierra del Fuego (1919)
Image by Martin Gusinde - courtesy Of Grace Ndiritu
The Ark is a post-internet living research/live art project - part scientific experiment, part spiritual experience. It is inspired by Ndiritu's own experiences during the last decade, living on and off in New Age communities. The Ark have no audience for the first six days, so the participants can go deep into this process. Instead it will be closed to encourage creativity and vulnerability, in order to come up with radical, new ways of thinking about life and the problems of today's world.
Through a multiplicity of themes including Plants, Biology, Shamanism, Meditation, Food, Philosophy, Communities, Education, Architecture, Future of Cities, Democracy and Activism. The Ark will aim to firstly open a dialogue between its own participants and secondly with a wider audience during the Public Weekend.
The Ark will have no audience for the first 6 days, so the participants can go deep in this process. Instead it will be closed in order to encourage creativity and vulnerability in order to come up with radical, new ways of thinking about life and the problems of today's world. All invitees will be asked to participate and share in each others offerings whether that is a lecture, meditation session, cooking, creating a performance or Non Violent Communication (NVC) or poetry workshop.
Moreover, the ancient Indian Vedic chakra system is the conceptual and energetic foundation for the holistic nature of The Ark i.e. the daily spiritual workshops, academic talks and performance schedule. It is also the inspiration for the visual design of the uniforms, banners, flags and the menu of food which the participants will consume during The Ark.
During this first moment of the project which is closed to the public, the public will be able to follow what is happening inside The Ark using Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
During the week, The Ark will organize its activities in four teams:
The Spiritual Team will design purification practices and energetic rituals, to elevate the consciousness of each participant individually and as a group, so that new ideas and ways of thinking about the world's problems will be produced throughout the week. This team will include Grace Ndiritu (Kenya/UK), artist and designer of The Ark community experiment and Rebecca Farr (USA), artist and spiritual worker who will lead all the spiritual workshops during The Ark.
The Food Team is inspired by The Ark's guidelines about growing and eating food following the chakra system which will allow the food program to be aligned with the rest of The Ark program of activities. The Ark week is a platform for seeing Food as Curative/Preventive medicine and the expansion of participant's consciousness. Thus, vegan, wild, macrobiotic, ayuverdic and raw cooking are some of the ways that food will be introduced into it. Members of this team are Denise Palma Ferrante (Australia/Italy), head chef, she will design the menu and organize the kitchen at The Ark, Julian Cox (UK), radical gardener, he will grow food for The Ark and Sue Burge (UK), sous chef and poet, she will be helping in the kitchen and leading a Food Poetry night during The Ark.
The Art Team will design Daily Performance workshops with all participants, which will take place throughout The Ark leading up to the final public performance on Sat 8 July in the streets of Aubervillers. Urara Tsuchiya (Japan) and Anna Tanner (USA) performance artists, will be leading the performance workshops during The Ark. Rafaela Lopez will be in charge of the social media at The Ark.
The Academic Team will be leading talks and scientific experiments throughout The Ark week, accumulating at the Academic Roundtable on Sunday 9th July 2017 which will be moderated by Grace Ndiritu. For this, the team includes Petra Carman (Slovenia), social psychologist, will focus on social power and cults – group vs individual dynamics and facilitating community building exercises with the participants, Gleb Vyacheslavovich (Russia/Siberia), economist, will focus on BRIC and doing social testing on the subject of intercultural & interracial dialogues with participants, Eric Heist (USA), artist, will focus on the history of communities and the lineage of Biosphere scientific experiments which took place between 1987 to 1994 in Arizona, Kayla Anderson (USA), theorist and artist, will focus on the Anthropocene, Queer & Race Theory, Inter-species relationships and Future communities, Edgardo I. Garrido Perez (Panama/Mexico), biologist, will focus on Plants and Human communities at The Ark and at least Margaret McLaren (USA), philosopher, will focus on India, Gender, Economics & Rural Communities.
The official website of The Ark will be launched in Autumn 2017 with an archive of all materials collected during The Ark. It will contain texts, drawings, poems, recipes, scientific data, graphs, personal observations, diary extracts and spiritual exercises.
The Grace Ndiritu project, The Ark, is supported by Fluxus Art Projects and Klowden Mann Gallery.