Resilients imagine possible futures and prototype them as artistic experiments in living and working environments. In 2011 a group of us started the Resilients project, to collect, create, share and support resilient creative practices that we believe are needed to thrive in uncertain, turbulent times.
A resilient practice is both fexible & robust. It is continuously engaged in the delicate balancing act of growing & evolving, adapting to change & discarding unsustainable elements. Resilients recognise that change is a continuous process, growing less predictable as our habitats, societies, economic & technological systems increase complexity & become more interdependent. To be able to respond to unpredictability, we can look at human abilities to face & embrace change, whether perceived as positive, negative or neutral.
Training for uncertainty
Resilients bring together two human capabilities: imagination and adaptation. We are curious about human ability to adapt to different situation and respond to them adequately. We'd like to know when it is beneficial to resist, when to change and when to simply accept our present condition as it is. We'd like to imagine our lives in diverse futures, to broaden our range of options, beyond the usual polarities of either total collapse and the continuation of status-quo.
By prototyping the future as an artistic experiment we create a training-ground for our vision and adaptation: we try things out in a temporary, relatively safe zone. We design experimental situations and social structures, then test them out in 'real-life' labs that we call Case Studies. To begin with we designed six case studies, looking at different aspects of possible futures and exploring them in workshops, gatherings, residencies and transiencies, as well as public experiments.
Resilients and Atemporality
Resilients is atemporal, living frmly in the present while straddling both past & future. It borrows from a more frugal pre- industrial culture, while embracing the newest systems, materials & technologies able to sustain both people & the planet. It builds on contemporary advances in science & technology, while remaining rooted in the diversity of European cultural heritage.To encourage the emergence of resilient post-industrial culture, we look to pre-industrial & early industrial European traditions, including arts & crafts, science & philosophy, gardening & cooking, pilgrimage & venerative practices. Resilients 'scavenges' amongst resilient practices of the past, to infuse them with contemporary ethical, ecological & cultural insights.
The Resilients Guild
Resilients have a long term goal to establish a support structure for its members and kindred spirits – the Resilients Guild. We draw on the traditions of early European guilds – associations of crafts practitioners & merchants, designed to develop their practice, educate its members, circulate works & knowledge. There are 3 roles in the Resilients Guild: apprentice, journeyer & master. Apprentices are mentored by masters to acquire specifc skills & knowledge. Journeyers travel to collect diverse models of cultural resilience & gain pan-European experience. Masters are responsible for case studies in resilient culture.The roles are interchangeable – a master in one area can become an apprentice in another, encouraging life-long learning & development.
There is a notable difference between traditional guilds & Resilients: where a traditional guild is often closed, disciplinary & rigidly hierarchical, Resilients is an open network of creative practitioners, working together to enhance resilience across sectors & cultures. Resilients subscribes to open source & ‘integrate rather then separate’ principles, making its methods, activities & membership publicly accessible.
Resilients aim to:
- COLLECT current & historic examples of resilient culture in Europe
- CREATE a contemporary theory & practice of cultural resilience
- SHARE accumulated skills, knowledge & cultural products
- SUPPORT the emerging community of resilient cultural workers in the long term
- FoAM in Belgium (http://fo.am)
- Central Saint Martin's in the UK (http://textilefutures.co.uk/)
- nadine in Belgium (http://www.nadine.be)
- Performing Pictures in Sweden (http://www.performingpictures.se)
- Projekt ATOL (http://makrolab.ljudmila.org/patol.html)
- Time's Up (http://www.timesup.org)
With the support of the Culture Programme (2007–2013) of the European Union.