About The Existential Reformation League
The Existential Reformation League (The ERL) is an art, design, sound, and animation studio based in Brooklyn and Athens, New York. Currently its members are me, Paula Hayes and my partner, Teo Camporeale. The ERL is forming in the years approaching The Disappearance for the purpose of preparing for a different perception of time in the space of a different earth.
What is The Disappearance?
"The memory is thick and electrical." *
In my artist book titled Lucid Green, published in 2013 by Carolina Nitsch Gallery, NYC, The Disappearance is described as an abrupt event on earth that alters human existence. In the book, a letter addressed to The Existential Reformation League describes how time has changed. Time is not thought of as a nostalgic memory, a numerically described now, or a future fantasy. It is described as an active, faceted, and colorful substance.
“To many, time itself has become charged with what seems like diamonds. Time, once a fragile substance, was not greatly understood prior to the event but rapidly became compressed, followed by a sudden burst or “stretch thrust” during The Disappearance.”
With curiosity, I think about how we are simultaneously enchanted and benumbed by ubiquitous new technologies. The most precious carrot of all, having more time, is the spell cast by the promise of ever smarter tools for working faster and socializing more.
Teo, what do you think? "The Disappearance is a cacophonous sound made by a symphony where all of the musicians run toward each other, toward the center, and then explode in to a single crystal clear tone of a giant glass gong." : )
In Lucid Green, my book ends with the main character Jill Poet, who comes to earth during The Disappearance, with a transmission to The Existential Reformation League. She requests “more time in the subtler shades of learning”. She needs more time in order to fulfill her purpose. That purpose is to locate the nature sanctuary Lucid Green. In the book Lucid Green, The ERL is an intact collective that remembers the time before The Disappearance and desires to create earth anew with its survivors and visitors.
Why Make More Stuff On This Planet Now?
Art could be defined as vehicles of desire, infused with the mind of the artist. Art can also be thought of as sacred, with rights of its own, because of its ability to transcend time and its human maker. Whatever the form, art can confound at first, then induce curiosity and ultimately inspire the beholder to think in a new way.
A composer, such as Teo, uses techniques like those of an environmental scientist, for instance, by making field recordings. He makes field recordings of birds and commonplace industrial sounds in the environment. He combines these sounds with performed musical instruments in to a transporting experience that can trigger emotion from the listeners.
Aren't the most important tools of today those of real desire, inspiration, inclusiveness, and shared time? As a species we have to deeply desire to live in order to continue living, protecting life, as we decipher what technology and speed actually does to our connection to each other and the environment. We also need to know what they represent. It would be fabulous to enjoy time together, in shared rhythm or at a pace of elongated presence, not rushing our demise but continuing because we really want to.
Paula Hayes, 1/1/2016
* Lucid Green, 2013
(born 1958 in Concord, Massachusetts) is an American visual artist and designer. Hayes is known for improvisational living artworks as well as large-scale public and private landscapes. A major theme in Hayes’ work is the connection of people to their environment, and much of her work challenges her necessary attendants to have a conscious interaction. Though perplexing and even vexing for some to sustain, everything she demands is required to maintain a curiously changing connection with large and small-scale ecosystems.
Hayes' recent illumination sculptures and 2D works, though not inclusive of living systems, guide one's attention to our rapidly changing relationships to nature and to each other since the Industrial Revolution.
(born 1965 in New York City) is an American composer and animation artist. Camporeale, who formed the art rock, pop band Media Cult in 1987 transitioned in to advertising media forms throughout the 1990s.
Beginning in 2006, Camporeale fused his digital animation talent with experimental sound pieces that sample imagery and sound elements collected from recording aggravating industrial noise pollution, field recordings of melodic bird songs, self filmed happenstance non-events, found motion picture clips and state of the art digital animation.