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Elsewhere & Otherwise 9: As Below So Beyond June 24 – July 03, 2022 (France)

ELSEWHERE & OTHERWISE 9 – As Below So Beyond
June 24th to July 3rd, 2022
Performing Arts Forum in St Erme, France
To reserve please email: contactpaf@gmail.com
For any other question/doubt/idea/proposal, please email: daniela.bershan@gmail.com or redtremmel@gmail.com

Fee: Sliding Scale

once a year we live together…
… and the conversation continues, meanders, intensifies, mutates,
as our relations too are spreading, dispersing, falling together and apart.

Understanding our being in relation, in as many ways and directions as possible, is a material, spiritual, emotional, intellectual, erotic and political challenge of our time. What to bundle our energies for and with? How to move together? How to be with the unknowable and uncontrollable? How to create, sustain and nourish the conditions for erotic beingness, for relational and inter-dependent generation and decomposition?

For almost a decade, we have engaged in promiscuous epistemological modalities of togetherness – dissolving and generating the parameters of space and time. Last year’s edition focused on conviviality and living with – rather than through – a pandemic. The soil, as a sustaining, bio-chemical, ritualistic, erotic and political ground, played the lead role–albeit not in the apparent foreground but rather (and literally) underground.

This year we feel it’s time to shift the mode of collective study once again by proposing quite specific and structured choreographies for the duration of our 10-days of living together. We will communicate more details about this closer to the meeting.

With As Below So Beyond we want to make explicit and study the interdependent relations between micro and macro worlds. In the style of Elsewhere & Otherwise, we welcome multiple entrances and ontologies, affirming our abundance of possibilities.

This year two invited guests will guide some of our main study blocks. As we continue to weave, extend, deepen, exchange, and remix ongoing forms of being together, we will focus our attention, relations, performances, and care in three main areas: erotic epistomologies, relationality, mycology and as always nourishment and reproductive care.

For first-time participants, as well as returners, we offer this contextualization…

Erotic Epistemologies

What is the role of intimacy and modalities of connection in the co-creation and transmission of knowledges? How might we approach, touch and relate to the unknown in an erotic manner? What is the role of the erotic, in the Lordean sense, in scientific inquiry? How might we nourish erotic research and thinking practices? What can we learn from rituals and disciplines that center the erotic in the co-creation of knowledge?

Relationality

Working with history as present and future materiality, how might we play with the different strands of our 9-year-long conversations and relations? What might we learn from the accumulation and ruptures of our time travels together? How might we play with our history as we would with material, letting the strands of our conversations and relations react with each other, merge, collide, integrate, and decompose. How do themes of past editions like soiling, holding space, queering time, reproductive labour, ritual and magic, the internet before the internet, the lab and the erotic resonate within our relations over time? How can we stay fresh and humble towards lineages that invited us in? How do we extend these invitations to others? Who are our m’others? How to practice fluidity with edges, expressing boundaries and openness as relations of care? How to relate with intention to the temporality of one’s own and others’ life course, being with youthfulness and the many periods of aging?

Mycology

What might fungi and mycelial networks teach us about relationality, decomposition, fruiting, spreading, queer lineages, erotic potentiality, art and science? Mycelial networks expand as they break down and decompose, sometimes they fruit and the winds carry their spores elsewhere. What might we learn from mycology as a queer, erotic and excentric art and science?

In addition to continuing the study with the microscope from last year we will build a small mushroom lab at PAF before E&O starts. If you have capacity to help and join this part of the process please write to us. We have invited someone who works with fungi. Together we’ll learn how to grow mushrooms; from preparing spawn and other substrates, to sterilisation, inoculation and proliferation. From this hands-on, low threshold practices we will think, feel and study what mycology can teach us about (our) relations in the kitchen and the lab, through ritual, taste, healing and beyond it.

Nourishment

What might the kitchen teach us about nourishing and nurturing, broadly defined? How can taste be a cypher for understanding lineages? Power and knowledge? Material and spiritual calories? Toxicity as resource? How do the boundaries between science and sensuality collaborate in the laboratory of the kitchen? What is the role of history in practises of nourishment, nurturing, taste, desire and well-being? We have invited an alchemist, cook and poet to guide us through different elemental progressions – from micro to macro – in, through and with the kitchen.

Reproductive Care

How can we continue to practice our reproduction in the heart of our being together? How can we continue to make visible and share the work of our on-going daily rituals in relation to each other for ten days? The kitchen. The cleaning. The laundry. The accounting. The shopping. The garbage. The clogged toilet. The emotions. The relations with the village. The building.

You

If you have any practices, rituals, readings, performances, study proposals that you would like to guide and share resonating with the above please write to us as soon as possible. Other spaces to activate are the Kids space (Como-Clubino), the Lab, the Healing Space, the library, chapel, the studios, gardens, and of course the medicine making in the herb-lab/pharmacy.

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ELSEWHERE & OTHERWISE 9 – As Below So Beyond will take place from June 24th to July 3rd, 2022 at Performing Arts Forum in St Erme, France.

As one of our intimacy practises, we ask attendants to commit for the full 10 days of our studying and being together. Using a sliding scale, the 10-day meeting including food, materials and accommodation costs between 300 – 450 EUR per person.

Below is the cost of living together for one individual–food, accommodations and supplies.

30 EUR = Cost per day
10 EUR = breakfast, lunch, dinner, coffee and wine
18 EUR = accommodations
2 EUR = other supplies for lab, medicine making, etc.

However, if possible, we ask you to pay anywhere from 1-15 EUR extra per day to help someone else attend. We would like to make E&O accessible to those who cannot afford to cover the costs listed above. This can be made possible if those that have access to more, pay more. Paying 31-45 EUR will make it possible for others. Keep in mind that the evaluation for the sliding scale is not how much money you have, but how much money you have access to. Even if you can pay 10 EUR more, it will help someone else to attend.

If you are able to apply for a grant we are happy to help with invitation letters. Also, in keeping with the intention above, we would appreciate it very much if you could apply for more than needed for your single participation (according to the kind of application you are able to submit) to help others in different financial conditions to also participate (suggested: 450 € per person).

For academics we suggest an institutional rate of $600:
10 nights at $36 for housing (2 people) = $ 360
10 days for food at $20 (2 people) = $ 200
Extra Fees 10 days for $4 (2 people)= $40
Total Housing Food and Conference Fees = $600

If you would like to come and you don’t have the financial conditions to do so, please let us know and we will try to make it possible for you.

For parents and primary caregivers who consider coming with their children please carefully read the info below.

To reserve please email: contactpaf@gmail.com

For any other question/doubt/idea/proposal, please email: daniela.bershan@gmail.com or redtremmel@gmail.com

We are excited to see you soon

Daniela Bershan & Red Vaughan Tremmel

________

Considerations for parents and caregivers before attending ELSEWHERE & OTHERWISE with kid(s):

It is important for us to include the young and activities for and with them into ELSEWHERE & OTHERWISE and it is important to us to find collective, integrative ways of doing so. Over the years, in an experimental way, we have taken baby steps into this direction and we are far from “being there” and at the same time happy that it is now possible. However, to avoid frustrations we think it is useful that you know what you sign up for, namely an experiment, NOT an institutionalised day care. PAF is – in accordance with security norms in most European homes and public spaces – not a child-safe building. The CLUBINHO – will have to be organised by interested participants, parents and caregivers – so not by “trained professionals.“ This is to say that kids at E&O are part of a relational system and experiment of self-organisation that needs to be and is in constant negotiation. Please email us if you want to come with kids and/or are interested in organising some activities for the CLUBINHO.

ELSEWHERE & OTHERWISE is – next to many other things – also an intense and challenging space, and it’s not uncommon even for grown-ups to have a crisis moment at some point during the meeting. Crisis is often a moment of transformation so we don’t avoid it but embrace it as part of the process and try to provide spaces and tools to hold it collectively. As a parent or primary care-giver, especially if you come as a single parent this can be extra challenging as your kid(s) will relentlessly follow their own needs and rhythm while you and them are confronted with a whole new set-up that you will (also with help) only partially be able to immerse yourself into. We recommend that you try to build up an additional support system for you and your kid(s) before hand. For example ask one or two friends that are coming with you to split the time of care-giving for 24h each, so every other day or third day you can have a “day/night off”. If you come with 2/3 parents/caregiver this is a system that seems to work quite well for some; If you plan to come alone with your kid(s) and don’t know anyone at E&O let us know in advance so we can try to put you in touch with some people before hand; In the evenings a “rotational child-checking system” works very well; You organise 6 people that check the rooms once an hour each (10 past, 20 past, 30 past, etc.). Like this you only have to check on your kid once an hour and know that they are checked on every 10 minutes by someone.

Also understand that you are part of shaping the conditions in which we are living together also with the kids. If something does not work for you then voice it and take the initiative to change it and/or find people who help you change it. This shall not sound like you are alone or it is all up to you; But just be aware of what we are trying to do together is challenging and needs extra care and energy and pro-activity and the joy and love to experiment with the complex parameters we are dealing with collectively.

Lastly we need ALL custody holders to sign a legal disclaimer beforehand, that we will send you as soon as you reserve. It is not enough for one custody holder to sign this. All caregivers with legal custody MUST sign this beforehand.

We hope this does not sound off-putting. We are looking forward to welcome you and your kid(s) as part of the collective study at E&O. We just want to make sure you manage your expectations and prepare your situation as well as possible before hand to avoid frustration and overwhelm. Please email daniela.bershan@gmail.com if you have any more questions or want to be put in touch with some parents and care-givers who have agreed to share their experiences and observations of the last year(s).

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