NO COMFORT LAND
Spreepark becomes inaccessible again and again–ever suspended out of reach.
As its allure and the desire to conquer its mysteries continue to grow on its boundary fence,
Process Institute metaphorically reenacts the park’s encampment in the surrounding forest of Plänterwald.
For 48hrs, The Process Institute claimed a new land deep inside the urban Treptow forest of Berlin. No Comfort Land was founded as a secret performance, a land of possibilities. This secrecy enabled us to privately chart a territory that could support our desires to push for the extreme promises of the park (utopian dreams, fantasies of intensity, and no boundaries…). Within the confines of our self-proclaimed Land we lead each other through exercises, rituals, play, stories, constructions, debates; all of which extended from the desire to get free and be together in new ways.
Meanwhile the ever present sound of children playing, techno music lulling and weekend strollers passing by reminded us that we were just meters away from our daily realities; pressing us to remember a free zone like No Comfort Land is always in reach but usually beyond our own rigid boundaries and need for social acceptance.
The private performance ended with a public tour of the traces left behind: the ruins of No Comfort Land. Members of the tour were invited to participate in a rhizomatic exercise of perception as a way of sharing the discovery of listening to the present. The sticks you see here were the tools used in this exercise.
Unfolding: Letter to the future inhabitants of No Comfort Land
I don’t know you at all, but I think that we might be somehow related. Maybe the fact that we all have two legs and two arms… (hmmm… I don’t know how you manage to survive only with one mouth, though).
I came here with my brain and my soul. The journey was long and entertaining. Or maybe short and painful. I am not sure. It was not easy to reach the maturity to make this trip. Maybe your journey was different. I needed to pass some tests that nobody imposed on me. The first test was to stop wanting to become; the second, was to do things out of love; and the third one, to forget that life is temporary (it actually isn’t). Only then could I return to the beginning, to the precious corner where language nor self-consciousness existed; to the place where there was neither a you, nor an I.
Is that freedom?
Ahhh… time! What a complex thing. Talking about returns and temporality… I am constantly traveling in time, in a never-ending present. In fact, past, present and future blend. Time is always. What happened yesterday, what happened a thousand years ago, and what will happen in a million years, is actually happening at the same time. The now is just the awareness of this instant, as if we just stopped the lifetime filmstrip for a second. A second that is also an infinite unit…
I won’t fight time, I can’t win.
Back to my trip, I must say that I didn’t mind the journey. We needed to learn to speak and behave in society, this society, one society. We needed to understand the constructions that have ruled our ways to be able to unlearn them. To be the doers of our lives. To decide on the how and the why. At least, we know that we could do this if we wanted. The challenge will be, to invent a how and a why, to create our own meaning.
Once, I thought that what I needed, to be more myself was to follow my desires. This idea made sense, until I realized that I had also learned those desires. “Crap!” I thought. But then a whole new world opened up: the exciting and scary world of “what has never been thought of”. Think about it: so much is possible, that it is actually overwhelming.
However confusing this might sound, there will be nothing as joyful and simultaneously painful as jumping deep into uncertainty. Forget what you have learned. Be ready for discovery, feeling alive and connected.
Here we are. I like it in here. Look at each other. This is our secret. Let’s create a space for being, space for understanding. We can be the seed of a bigger dream. Let’s play with all the options we never thought of. Let’s be.
First, we’ll find out how to unfold and multiply your mouths. And after that, nobody knows. We shall see…