Life Itself

September 2019, Newsletter

What a full, rich summer it has been for the Art / Earth / Tech team. We transition into the next season: the tomatoes are over, the beetroots are coming up and Petronella makes her way to open our new Berlin coliving home after a summer at La Cheraille. We reflect on the past few months and bring you all up to date with what we’ve been up to and how invite you to be more involved in our work too.

The Gathering 2019

This years Gathering at La Cheraille was curated with delicate flavours by our masterchef Liam who brought a wide ranging group of cognitive scientists, artists, practitioners, philosophers, entrepreneurs and Buddhist monks to the great barn here. The week got deeper and richer in its flavour as the group stepped in to discuss and experience this year’s themes: – our faith in rationality and progress, our belief in individualism, and the equality complex.

Read more here. Watch the carefully made video by latest samurai Richard Millington and subscribe to our YouTube channel for more videos from our events.

Our new home in Berlin

With over 120 applications for our first hub in Berlin, we anticipate this city will be a good cooking pot for Art / Earth / Tech. You will meet our founding members Johannes, Alina and Anna in the next coming weeks. If you are based in Berlin, and would like to be part of the community, please email [email protected]

As part of this campaign, we created a cultural compatibility questionnaire to assess where those who were interested in being committed to A/E/T fell on our scale. We sourced questions from the World Values Survey, from European Social Survey, Attachment Theory, and surely the most modern equivalent.. OK Cupid dating app 😉

If you too would like to complete it – here is the link. Many have found it super interesting, enjoyable and a rare opportunity to be asked to think deeply on some core views on culture and society. As ever, this is an experiment and your feedback is most welcome.

Three rooms available in our Hoxton home

As we fill one, so another opens. Pioneer members of Art / Earth / Tech Cecile and Esteban are setting sail to Spanish plains and bidding farewell to our Hoxton home. Fear not, they are still very much part of AET going forward with Esteban remaining a Board director. Tom is also setting off but only south of the river thankfully!

Three rooms are now available in our Hoxton Hub from the start of December (the large room is available on a short term basis mid October until 30th November). Please share this link far and wide. If this appeals, do get in touch with Petronella – [email protected]

Here is a poem from a recent short term resident, Charlotte:

When I first arrived at the Hub of Art Earth Tech,

I honestly thought, “Oh no… oh feck!

These people are better and braver than me!”

but then I created the possibility…

that I could be brave and do what they do

I could be loving and open and join the crew

with the vision of a better way we behold

we can get together and help save the world.

Oh these folks, they do make me happy!

I’m so glad I stayed here with my wonderful chappy!

Nucleus Summer Sprint

The Nucleus team behind Art Earth Tech met for their Summer Sprint at La Cheraille to revisit their core reason for existence- yes, we had a week 🙂

Our team uses the planning technique ‘Situation Complication, Question and Hypothesis’ (see here for an explanation) and back in 2017 we wrote one for what we were addressing then.. Not much has changed but we have sharpened it’s edges let’s say. We worked on our Envisioned Future: what would the world look like if we fulfilled AET’s vision (it’s pretty radical and great); we worked on our core question – how do we resolve the ‘complication’ (see below)…

…and came up in a group with our hypothesis (see below).

We are an ambitious, no holes-barred bunch of people who have the courage to say what is needed. This time we said, we need to bring forth a new culture and new societies to deal with our own and our collective challenges – better than we do now. Simple really. Who’s in?

Art / Earth / Tech is a multi-disciplinary initiative of artists, researchers and technologists who are dedicated to bring forth a new culture and society that is radically better than today in its capacity to generate a federation of flourishing and fulfilled communities that deal powerfully with collective challenges and which is committed to being wise and creating a weller world for everyone.

Our first Neuroscience retreat with Plum Village

We set the tone for the summer with our first neuroscience retreat at Plum Village, where Liam led 250 therapists, scientists and practitioners for a week of devoted mindfulness practice, complemented by talks that explored Buddhist approaches to psychology and presentations by pioneers in therapeutic practices. Luminaries such as Neurofeedback pioneer Sebern Fisher, Californian Surgeon General Nadine Burke Harris, Peter Levine, the founder of the Somatic Experiencing came and presented while the influential psychiatrist Dr Dan Siegel joined us via videolink. It was made all the more exciting because on the same trip, Art / Earth / Tech advanced negotiations for a building outside of Plum Village, which will be a new coliving hub. All around, there was a feeling that this could be the start of something larger. Read more here.

Dharma parlour at Buddhafield!

Like Dick Whittington, Liam set off with a handkerchief tied to his stick to join the founders of Dark Mountain Project for a walk outside Oxford to reflect on our response to climate and wellbeing. He then arrived at Buddhafield, to contribute five talks and workshops at the Dharma Parlour. You can read more about the content and discussion on our blog here.

Our research calls

These are monthly informal sessions with a short presentation followed by a time to collaborate together on whatever research or reflection we may have. They take place online once a month over the weekend 3:30pm – 5:50pm. Our last one was on Concrete Steps about Climate Change. If you would like to sign up for our October call, please email: [email protected] who will add you to the group and answer any queries you may have.

Community events

London Hub

Sundays: Project Brunch Event: Starts at 10:30 until 13:00

Catch up with other AET members over brunch and get the chance to share what you’ve been up to and to listen to what other people are working on!

There is a donation pot for food and time spent by the hosts organising it, so do bring change. Email [email protected] for more details

Weekly Wednesday dinner: every Wednesday, our London home opens its doors and invites you to join us for dinner. Please email [email protected] if you’re keen to come and bring a dish!

Want to start your own event?

If you would like to set up an event or salon with Art Earth Tech, then please express your interest here

Retrospective of ‘Is there a future?’ exhibition

You may recall on 31st July, long time member Cecile Embleton curated an exhibition Is there a future? featuring our cofounder Sylvie Barbier. You can get a glimpse of the extraordinary night in London here in this collection of photos. A film is to follow that will feature the live performances as well as talks from Procreate Project, Birth Strike, Extinction Rebellion Families Coordinator, Izzy Braithwaite (a doctor), Nadia Schweimler, Senior Advisor on Climate Innovation, and Culture Declares Emergency. These illustrations by Federica Ciotti capture some points.

Final words

Many of you may not be familiar with our Director Rufus Pollock’s own blog. Here he has suggested some posts that in light of the themes of our Gathering, and the foundational values and views we refer to for a wiser culture, provide the backdrop to our approach to cultural change. These include synopses of books that have helped guide our thinking too.

The Primacy of Collective Being: the example of Italy

Here he looks at how culture influences the quality of governance with Italy as a brilliant example (North v South).

False consciousness and what we really want

Why humans basically don’t know what we really want and the notion that we do, has worked well for political ideologies. As Thich Nhat Hanh shared with Google employees: we have false needs as well as real needs, and these can be tricky to distinguish.

Fairness and Freedom

Here he compares the similar set up of English-speaking, largely British emigrants in the ‘open’ societies of US / Canada and New Zealand yet the significant difference in their cultures of liberty / freedom vs. fairness.

Artwork: Cecile Embleton