Spinning the Coin and Picking up the Pieces
We are delighted to be part of After Progress
In this performance and conversational artwork between Tamsin Grainger and Ursula Troche, we acknowledge that progress is broken and what picking up the pieces means in this context. We consider rearranging them to make a life-after-progress, find counter narratives, suppressed and untold stories.
Social, economic and psychological marginalisation in our hierarchical, lopsided world community, alongside the issues of ecocide, the consumerist spiral / cul-de-sac and Covid19 are on one side of the coin; now it’s time to look at the other side. In the process, we balance the coin on its edge and spin it, noticing that it turns in spirals; we examine the nature of this ever-moving form – constantly renewing, present throughout time and nature. We connect to the work of the Great Turning, articulated by Korten (2006), Macy (2013), the ideas of ‘Uncivilisation (Dark Mountain 2009) and ‘Enchantment’ (Bennett, 2001), among others.
Progress has to be undone for ecological and ethical reasons, and to promote justice. We aim to unseat it by challenging duality (the Empire principle) which draws lines, resulting in a damaging hierarchy and imbalances of power like a warped version of the Hegelian ‘Self and Other’. If ‘country’ is important, why isn’t the ‘earth’ and ‘land’ on which it stands, just as vital?
So-called progress is based on greed and a Cult of More, so we understand that we need to cultivate ‘less’ (we refer in part to Frugaldom.com). To learn how to do this, how to heal ourselves, our political systems and environment, we will listen to the people we have dispossessed, who are familiar with ‘less’ and therefore know what is necessary? We recognise that it is death which points us towards what we must do for health in life, so we will listen to the dying. Here we are, sandwiched between the perpetrators of Empire and the dominated. We use our personal stories to pick up the pieces and make a post-progress vision, to spin the coin of change and interpret its ‘tail’ side.