Image for Plant Mankind

Mittwoch, 09 September, 2015 - 20:30

Plant Mankind

Michiyasu Furutani
Gretchen Blegen

9 Sep 2015 - 21:00


- an investigation of utopia -

Butoh Dance - Michiyasu Furutani / Sounds - MARTÍ / Light - Gretchen Blegen 

The origin of utopia as an unreachable place is well know.  The sound of the word is comfortable, reminiscent of an 'ideal' place in the peoples mind.  Yet, in reality, the status of the island depicted by Thomas More in the book Utopia is a debatable one.  It is meant to be a suitable place for everyone, a comforting model of life — without disease, without any monetary hindrance and time is spent freely after a six-hour labor day.  This may have been an ideal society in the 16th century, but a place like this very contingent centuries later and we must think about this critically today.  Our current world is filled with a wide variety of race, language, heritage and culture all amounting to a population totaling close to seven billion people, and fostered on plentiful geographical conditions and climates. Under these circumstances is it possible to maintain a "standard" of life or a manifestation of happiness that applies to all?

We should look at a mountain.  Animals, insects, bacteria, water, light and many other elements — both living and dead — respectably entangle and maintain an environment suitable for a sustainable condition.  Without the abundance of its elements it is bound to collapse one day.  In comparison, how long would we be able to maintain an ecological environment with only one species?

It is a complex relationship — enriched multiple circumstances, and these are left confronting us with a fight, a revel, a rebellious nature pursuing survival which will then reach to real life.  It is a means to survive in this strange world. If we don't carry any emotions such as fury, apathy and sorrow, we cannot maintain enough energy or power in order to push so many obstacles away and to stand our own grounds. We should live definitively in the chaotic situation. The 'utopia' from More is something much more comparable to no-self-control, no-passion, no-excitement, no-growing love.  It is a boring picture of a world without any emotional ups and downs, and very blue, yes, I envision his world as blue.

Anarchism brings forth a parallel image of an ideal society, another 'utopia' achieved through abolition.  The sound of the word is violent to some, convincing to others, yet for many it is still strongly representative of a 'disorder'.  Each individual can exist as an independent nation; conquer and obey its own nation; prosper and collapse in the same lifetime repeatedly.  Through this process we can again find the ideal — trying to satisfy its own needs and desires and having the solidarity of self for survival.  It stretches and expands beyond this and brings once again this question of what happiness could be in perspective. Yet again:  under these circumstances is it possible to maintain a "standard" of life or a manifestation of happiness that applies to all?

So I ask:  What is a good deed?  What is evil?  How to judge right and wrong in these conflicting versions of utopia?  What do we gain from this pursuit?



As part of the series Place Rhythm. Pulse

go to top of page