CASAdelDRAGON is a social space, a think tank, an art hot spot in the province Castellon and a lab to improve new concepts of sozial art at all.
This is a story about raising chicken, doing social art, listening an australian prime minister, realizing the new world order of a global food chain and setting up a new working unit of our community in Spain.
i am what i eat, i eat what i sow, I sow what I like, i like what i am.
It’s a story about lots of animals, lots of people, lots of screws, lots of recycling, lots of fun, and an unusual exhibition at the contemporary art gallery CASAdelDRAGON.
In the spring of 2022, a few friends of Familiafeliz got together to start a chicken farming project. That alone would not be the beginning of a new social sculpture, but a real verified interest of a target group is the motivation for the artist to start one. Familiafeliz has been keeping chickens in the home unit in Germany for more than 25 years and has a lot of experience in rearing and caring for them.
A 28-year-old incubator has been waiting for its first use in the CASAdelDRAGON for many years.
First, hatching eggs from different sources were brought together. The new flock of chickens should show a high level of genetic variance in order to ensure diversity in the species and robustness and health of the brood later when rearing new generations.
Artificial brood is certainly the second choice when rearing chickens naturally, but it offers many advantages, especially when starting over. The absence of older animals prevents the transmission of many parasites, the animals are of the same age and grow up together, which reduces the stress of group integration. The controlled supply of the animals with high-quality organic feed right from the start guarantees health, well-being and vitality of the animals later.
Simultaneously with the beginning of incubation, several chick homes were built. The aim was to recycle as much material as possible from the large pool of 36 years of rebuilding the CASAdelDRAGON and 15 years of running the gallery on the ground floor of the house.
The simultaneous construction of several chick houses should allow a selection of the chicks according to size and breed right from the start. The design should take into account the natural needs of the chicks and at the same time offer the possibility of relaxed natural breeding with a mother hen (separated from the group).
The electrical installation served to connect a light source and a heating source.
Chicken eggs hatch for 21 days. Between the third and seventeenth day, the eggs are regularly turned, at least twice. In natural breeding, this is done by the mother hen.
The mother hen also pays attention to the signals from the eggs and sorts out rigorously what does not answer accordingly. After the seventeenth day, the eggs are no longer turned and the incubator is only opened briefly to check the humidity and temperature. Particular attention must be paid to a good supply of fresh air, because the chicks’ lungs start working long before hatching and breathe through the closed (porous) eggshell.
The goal is to hatch and raise healthy, strong chickens. The preparation of the chicks for the expected habitat and its challenges is an important moment. This also includes the contamination of the chick home with bacteria and germs that occur in this habitat. For this purpose we dug up topsoil from the garden and single grasses that are offered to the chicks from the beginning. Some larvae and beetles were also found in this natural soil, a very popular prey for the chicks.
An important aspect of a social sculpture is the interaction with the target group. The change to use the project for informal education was taken into account from the beginning.
The audience followed the hatching process attentively.
After 21 days, the chicks hatched. In artificial hatching, a hatch rate of over 60% is a success when the sources of the hatching eggs are not certain and thus the fertilization rate of the eggs is not clear. In the project we were happy about 32 healthy chicks, which corresponded to a rate of about 70%.
The chicks form a community by vocalizing even before hatching and agree on the moment of hatching. You can listen to them communicating and watch them break through the eggshell with the greatest expenditure of energy. Anyone who manages to do it on their own shows the absolute will to live and immediately sets out to explore the new environment.
The pack behavior is distinctive, provides protection and security, and creates trust for the habitat and its challenges.
This is the story of the chicks, and it is also a story of the people. On the day the first chick was born, Australia’s incumbent Prime Minister introduced legislation that could make food production in Australia difficult, if not impossible, for private individuals. This political initiative is just one of many to re-regulate global production, supply chains and conditions of food production. If, at the same time, the emergency slaughter or the house arrest of millions of animals are ordered because of the claim of a new wave of bird flu, the question arises as to who wants to push through which agenda to the benefit of whom. Nature usually responds to challenges with diversity, diversity in genotype and phenotype, diversity in habitat, food supply and climate.
Globalists strive for centralized solutions. They suspect the easier control. Kevin Kelly’s book “Out of Control” described many developments early on. The hubris of controlling nature remains a companion in the development of adolescent societies that have not yet made it out of their egg of presumption about the nature of their reality.
The egg doesn’t come out of the box (bought in a super market). It comes from a living being. And it needs people to raise it, nurture it, feed it, and be willing to share the fruits of their labor with others.
This article is dedicated to such people: Agnieska, Aura, Maria, Jens, Dilan and Francesca.
Most chickens are given names, which makes it easier to operate in day-to-day communication with each other. The first chick that hatched also got a name: Dan.
At a time when everything is supposed to appear smart – cell phones, cities, governments – it’s time to show that there are real alternatives to classic economy: the smart working units of Familiafeliz, for example.
On Francesca’s initiative, Familiafeliz has started to set up a new working unit: chicken farming in the Spanish home unit. In the construction phase, we create the infrastructure for rearing and keeping the animals. The aim is to make the working unit autonomous and independent of other activities in color garden, according to our charter. We are inspired by Cecosesola in Venezuela, a network of cooperatives with an extremely smart approach to establishing a new economy in communities.
The few rules of Cecosesola are: no hierarchy, everyone gets the same wage, plenum with consensus AND veto. Those who stay away permanently are automatically kicked out. 4 rules are organizing 43,000 people at Cecosesola, peacefully, without corruption, without police, judiciary and penal system. This can be a real model for the innovative organization of people beyond turbo-capitalism.
In our German home unit we have been raising chickens with one break for over 25 years. The experiences flow into the Spanish project. We also provided the infrastructure in Germany. The chickens are cared for by several parties (families). This allows each individual team member to travel and does not permanently bind him to the place. All services provided by the members of this unit are gifts to the group. No one calculates who has worked for how many hours. A list is kept and all those involved enter their willingness to provide care in advance for the coming month. This list is available to everyone in the stable. In this way, a direct contact can also be made at short notice if a team member cannot take care of the previously announced support on one day. It has emerged that individual members of the group have preferences, some being more concerned with logistics and finances, others more concerned with the animals. Everyone gives what they like and to the extent that they like. Rarely is a care time to be negotiated. It works, quietly, stress-free, just smart.
The poultry working unit in Germany offers the following products: eggs, hatching eggs, chicks, young animals, chickens, hens ready to lay eggs, selected cocks for breeding. In Spain, education will be added to encourage others to keep chickens. In Germany, the eggs are offered at a reasonable market price, currently 50 euro cents. EVERYONE has to pay this price, whether customer or team member. There is no strife between members of the group, and no conflict of interest between team members who have high egg consumption in their families and those who eat little or no eggs at all. The income covers the costs, fodder, tools, hatching eggs, young animals from external sources to refresh the gene pool. The surplus money will be returned to the teams. The balance after 25 years: no arguments, few discussions, always enough money for the first-class supply of organic feed, high-quality food, local recycling of food waste, and the development of an extended community of customers who regularly buy eggs and the animals with their visit children.
This team is currently being formed in Cervera. Familiafeliz continues to make the infrastructure available free of charge. We will not dictate how this working unit will ultimately organize itself (we will report!). But after more than 25 years we can take stock: based on the innovations of Cecosesola, it works… smart.
Every state intervention in the organically grown reality of life in rural areas has consequences, some of these consequences are considered, some are not, some are desired, some are not. Anyone who feels responsible and wants to give rural areas an advantage is well advised to involve the population and keep an eye on their basic needs. For a long time, villages have been competing for the people and no longer the people for the villages. Anyone who attracts investors drives away social coexistence. Optimizing the economy and social interaction leads to a conflict of interests. The neo-liberal school of thought opts for economics and claims that social interaction is a side effect. It is not so.
Integration and participation lead to generalization, to the socialization of added value. This is contrary to the desire to accumulate profits in the hands of the few. Many rural villages have opted for industrial settlement or mass tourism. Both put a strain on natural resources and, due to their structure, cannot be sustainable. The sustainable added value for the local population is low. Instead of attracting capital, it is subjectively attracting more successful people. Subjective, because fewer and fewer people are available. Regarding refugee policy as a human resource to fill in gaps leads to outrageous collateral damage when the act of helping goes beyond the unorganized initiative of individuals. There are hard factors in a person’s choice of residence: food, security, work, space, mobility and their infrastructure. There are also soft factors: quality of life, culture, health, potential. Contemporary art is a companion to contemporary culture. Contemporary art shouldn’t claim to know the right answers either, but contemporary social art can make a contribution, and this is aimed directly at the local people.
Rural areas as a natural resource form the basis of every society. The idea of concentrating people in megacities, producing food artificially and reserving rural areas for the elite of a society does not seem sustainable. In a more and more online-based world, the permanent influx of young families with high cultural and economic potential will depend on soft factors. Anyone who invests in the satisfaction of their roommates today will automatically find new roommates. Nothing gets around faster than well-being. And word of that gets around, especially among those who make a difference in society.
The love of music and dance anchored in tradition, the rich culture and open commitment to this culture are a key to integration, but also to a necessary diversification. Just as in education, it is important in local politics to do little to damage people’s own intrinsic powers and to promote them wherever possible. This is exactly where contemporary art can make a contribution. She has long since emancipated herself from the elite and their desire for luxury. It strives for the creation of social space across the board, which is populated for the benefit of this very population. What can contemporary art do in a village like Cervera del Maestre… it can create social spaces for togetherness. It can stimulate in the areas of education, architecture and health.
Social art imparts knowledge in the areas of health, nutrition, medicinal herbs and alternative agriculture. But social art also creates barrier-free access and handling. Social art brings people of different nationalities together in groups. It provides this group with an identity-forming shared experience. Social art questions values, views and dogmas, reduces fear, creates serenity in dealing with the stranger. Social art optimizes social interaction. The prize arises from participation, it remains with the participant himself.
CASA del DRAGON regularly opens its doors to the public space. It invites the local population and it attracts people interested in culture from afar. Nationalities meet in the workshops and seminars. Some of the visitors return later, some of them forever. The Garden of Colors is the campus of the free university for informal education and a place for dance, theatre, music and culinary delights. He is connected to the cooperative, the school, the people of the village. But he is also connected to his visitors in recent years, and thus connected to all continents of the world. Social art transports a message internally and externally, the experience of individual happiness as part of a community.
This is our offer to the village of CERVERA del MAESTRE as well as for other villages with interest in the benefit of social contemporary art (PDF, 22KB).
If you can see social developments like the organization of education in a society as a NATURAL proces then you can apply the principles of nature to further development as well. Then:
Evolution instead of revolution. Niche occupation before displacement.
From the first it follows that in the end there is no legal way to further develop of an existing system. Due to the system, innovation is declared to be an illegal activity.
And second, the occupation of a niche that cannot be reached by the system is a prerequisite for gaining strength and energy in order to be able to displace old systems in the subsequent step.
Organized education is an instrument of power. It was founded around 800 AD by Charlemagne. The goal was to create a unified class of officials with similar qualification in reading, writing and calulating to govern such a large empire.
Every subsequent social group has repeatedly viewed this educational system as a stable guarantee of its own survival and, if necessary, realigned its educational goals in the short term.
Anyone who talks about alternative education systems today should ask themselves whether he want to gain or stabilize power, whether he simply want to siphon off money from elites in a niche, whether he want to realign educational goals (with the hubris of making them binding for everyone else too) or whether he then wants to say goodbye to the idea of organizing education in systems.
The strategy of the classic offers intends to focus on the educational content, but does not question the structure of the mediation. Anyone who withdraws access to their child must be tracked by the system. He does not question the educational content at a parents’ evening. He questions the system.
So it is first of all to define a niche as such and then to recognize one.
In a reorganized world there will be a tension between the will to virtualize and the access to matter. The relocation of educational offers into virtual spaces is a trend. But it is accompanied by the desire to get all human-machine interfaces under the skin.
The Internet of Things is becoming the Internet of Thoughts.
High infrastructure costs do not pay off in the area. So this niche will develop in an area of low population density. The niche will also be found far away from mineral resources or other systemically important resources (like traffic routes). Every instrument of power is subject to the laws of nature and also to the second law of thermodynamics. A consideration of the ROI for an investment will always lead to peripheral areas, which are not addressed in the first step. Niches will identify themselves as “too expensive” for the mainstream.
The escalation of violence to secure and expand power is also an escalation of the means chosen. Black powder is replaced by fact checkers.
Informal education is based on the natural needs of those who ask. These needs are difficult to predict. Nutrition seems to be becoming increasingly important.
Epicurus provoked the classical educational system of antiquity. Instead of erecting a new school building, he invited people to a garden. Instead of prescribing content, he created a space for the free flow of communication. Entering the room was linked to the acknowledgment of the principle of equality of the people who enter this room. The niche will therefore be a social space in which the analogue dialogue is geared towards the needs of the communication partners. The teacher becomes a space builder. The conductor becomes the stage technician.
People’s strong urge to externalize their thinking, because their own thinking costs so much energy, leads again and again to the formation of roles. These roles (like that of a teacher) are adorned with privileges and burdened with conditions and restrictions. Above all, they are associated with a clear mission statement. The exemption from the task of gathering food is a hallmark of roles in a clan.
Leadership, healing, jurisdiction, defense are assigned to systemically relevant roles. The niche will probably be characterized by the absence of roles… as well as the absence of rules.
Evolution is only recognized by those who remain behind.
The gift to the new generation will be expressed in a wish: please do not disturb.
After we had announced the first exhibition in the CASAdelDRAGON three and a half years earlier, and after more than a hundred people were already waiting in front of the door, it was time to put the lighting system installed the day before into operation. The test failed. The tension rose.
In the end a decision had to be made, the light wouldn’t go on in one room. So we improvised there. The guests didn’t care. They hardly noticed. All other rooms were bathed in bright and neutral light. It later turned out that several errors came together: you can’t really go troubleshooting with a defective bulb in a defective socket.
Antje, translator and interpreter and in Cologne also tour guide in her role… the first exhibition was very well attended. We were also very pleased that so many residents from the village had come by. Local connectivity is important and will remain so. The CASAdelDRAGON is a house for European culture – and thus also for the very local and very valuable culture.
Gabriella, the Sardinian, who, among other things, embellished the Aquarius at the entrance to the gallery with broken tiles, in her pleasant way of helping quietly in the second row, with the eye for what is important, with the strength of her Sardinian ancestors.
Visitors came to the opening from near and far. Half were from the village or the surrounding area, the other half came from more than 1000 km away. From the very beginning, the gallery was also a meeting place, the best prerequisite for bridging cultures, for understanding and respect.
On that day, two founders of Familiafeliz were standing together in the gallery and didn’t even know that they were both laying the seeds for everything that would arise in the years to come around the house of the dragon. The idea of maybe buying a rental house together in Cologne was not implemented, but the successful founding of our decentralized community was. Sometimes you can remember the moments, they are often small decisions, and yet they lead to great adventures.
Barbara Rombach, German-French glass artist, stands next to Jose Caldes, Antje Kalisch and Peter Buch. Along with Genevieve Girot, these were the first five representatives of European contemporary art whose works were exhibited under the title Amigos en el Arte 1.
The well-known painter and sculptor Jose Caldes spoke about the risks and opportunities of a contemporary art gallery in the region. Caldes was the first artist who was able to sell a work – on the day of the opening – to an English art lover and collector. Caldes passed away a few years ago after a long illness, his work is remembered, and his friendship, his noble nature.
There are those who are at the front of the stage, whether they like it or not. And there are those who make all this possible in the first place, through their patience, perseverance, their will to create something positive and their willingness to give. Antje is such a person. Always the real center, quiet, present, for the gallery, the house, the community. Thank you.
It is and has always been a challenge to keep the artist residency CASAdelDRAGON open for guests and activities. Decoupled from public funding, every action, no matter how small, is a big task. On the other hand, what has been and is being achieved under these circumstances is a success story and sustainable, since it is not dependent on political sensitivities or depends on the monetary drip of lobbyists.
The dragon’s house is a gallery and workroom and offers 17 beds. It is inhabited by people who come together to participate in a social sculpture. Art is one reason to come, another is health, education, politics or economics. At the beginning of 2020, the house also became a place of refuge, rest and meeting of people who had left in very compact Echo Chambers. CASAdelDRAGON as a place to meet, to build bridges and to approach, a place to experiment, with the option of failing and starting again.
Jo Pellenz is certainly one of the most important contemporary artists from the cathedral city of Cologne. He has visited the artists’ residence several times and left clear traces in the art and culture of the village of Cervera del Maestre. His magnificent installation in the Ermita Sant Sebastian with over 650 unique paper figures remains unforgotten.
The second building in the mountain village of Cervera del Maestre, which is dedicated to art, is called CASA PACHA MAMA. Inconspicuous in a small street in the middle of the village, it shows a facade with mosaic and sculpture. You have to be almost exactly in front of it to see this facade. It was inaugurated in the vuelta del Arte in 2009 with an installation by the Mexican artist Rosana Velasquez.
The CASAdelDRAGON is dedicated to social art. At the opening of the first exhibition, the artist Juan Petry asked his guests to write down words that they wanted to give the place as “good wishes” along the way.
More than 150 people from all over the world helped to rebuild the house. In over 20 years they have rebuilt a 750 year old stone house and filled it with life. In the preparations for the first exhibition after 20 years of construction, these two friends in the “Electronics inclination group” helped assemble the installation for the professional lighting system. The material (ERCO – rails and lights) comes from a former department store in Isalohn (Germany) and was only purchased 6 weeks before the opening of the exhibition.
It was always the declared goal to bring the activities of CASAdelDRAGON together with the people of the region. The builder David Sales, friend, companion of the Casa and specialist in old building materials, helped to prepare the rooms of the gallery.
The floors of the natural bulges of the back walls are laid with river stones from the RAMBLA CERVERA. Margret had helped collect these stones and contributed a lot to the fact that we were able to open the first exhibition on time, three and a half years after we announced this vernissage!
This is a detail from the construction period. The cable harnesses all lead to a junction box that brings together all the house electrics. Thanks to Björn, a Cologne street artist and electrician, this installation is still working today without any failures.
The photo shows today’s living room of the CASAdelDRAGON, today a meeting place. Since then, more than 2000 (!!) visitors have entered this room, students, pupils, artists, creative people from all over the world.
CASAdelDRAGON is also networked with other important art venues in the region. A friend and mentor in the field of sculpture is Peter Buch (left). His “Jardi de Peter” is an impressive destination for the region’s contemporary art.
All these photos – and another 100 – were shown together for the first time in an installation in the rocket club in Cologne’s southern part. This was a social art event, a personal celebration and a music and theater event with Dj Joachim (DREAMS Koblenz) and many guests.
These photos will also be published as part of the Artsurprise art project and as part of an installation in Colorgarden, the CASAdelDRAGON campus.
This is a story about an exhibition in CASAdelDRAGON in 2020 and 2021, about a 49 year long friendship, about attention trafficing of yellowpress imperialism, about our tipping points in science, meaning and life. It is a story about the liberation from the paradise of ignorance and a story about the gift of love of letting go and the dignity of giving love without expectation.
Disclaimer: You need about 5 minutes to read this article, but a lifetime to experience it. Please ask your doctor or pharmacist about risks and side effects.
Las ultimas horas is the title of the running exhibition in CASAdelDRAGON, our community guest house, artist residence, think tank and experimental playground for social art projects. It is an exhibition with works from several international artists, all exhibited in the last 14 years in the art gallery in the basement. The exhibition is open for the public on saturdays and sundays from 10am to 2pm.
In the phase of the reconstruction of the CASAdelDRAGON we needed transport routes for heavy loads. For this purpose, openings were provided in the ceilings in order to transport the materials to higher levels. At the beginning of the expansion of the gallery, these transport routes could be closed.
But the history of this exhibition is also a reference to the birth of this place for art. More than 17 years ago we started to dissolve the material warehouse for the reconstruction of the CASAdelDRAGON and in 2007 we prepared the first exhibition opening in 5 months of hard labor. The photos in this article are from this time and remind us of the last hours before the entrance to the first vernissage. They tell the story of the “ultimas horas”, but also the story of all the people who made it possible for this social space to arise.
More than 200 people from many countries around the world had already helped to rebuild the CASAdelDRAGON. Some of these wonderful people had also agreed to help with the expansion, installation and preparation of the first exhibition in 2007. A very important person in the life of the builders of this social space was also there. And this article should also be about this woman who has been with us for so long.
In the expansion phase, we used relatively modern building materials. This was also due to the fact that ecological building materials and wood treatment methods were not available. In any case, we did not want to use toxic materials to protect wooden structures and at that time we decided on reinforced concrete as the load-bearing element. The closing of the last transport hole also marked a farewell to an era in which this 700-year-old house was being rebuilt.
When guests visit the gallery today, they cannot see what preparations were necessary to make this visit possible. Architecture makes history, but the focus is often on the surface of things, the building becomes a selfie for the builder, and sometimes also for the architect who plans it. The CASAdelDRAGON is a place to remember the construction workers and their own history. It is a place that was created through the social interaction of those involved, through the cooperation between the actors. And it is a place that connects the history of these helpers with the many generations before who built the place Cervera del Maestre from the ruins of a military fortress, and the CASAdelDragon as one of the houses of this place.
Nowadays philosophers wonder whether the real world still has a chance over the virtual world. The helpless attempt of the so-called mainstream media by media extension of the regulars’ tables in the television studio and the claim of opinion journalism for supervised non-thinking must be stunned to see how the young wild Youtubers pass by with their click rates. As viewing habits change, so do attention spans. When data becomes a commodity, the oil of this time, then distributing likes turns into a better pregnancy test. Imperialists have always exchanged glass pearls for gold, but never proved that either one is enough for establishing personal happiness. But whoever holds the glass pearls in their hands and reproaches or complains about the exchange, has probably not quite understood it.
The CASAdelDRAGON is also linked to Spanish history through the use of some building materials. The large wooden beam in the right photo was recovered from the beach of Vinaros after a violent storm. After that, it had waited twenty years for his appointment in the materials warehouse, the first floor, today’s gallery. It has found its place in a small store for the works of art that are not currently on view in exhibitions. There it spans an opening through which moisture can be released from the rocks behind the house. The beam is reminiscent of the Spanish Armada, its wood is naturally impregnated by salt water. The high camp is also a reference to local architecture. In the Middle Ages, the Florentine merchants kept their wool warehouses in high storages that were difficult to access; this architecture can still be found today in the nearby town of Morella. Just as merchants kept their fine wool for the fashion world of young Italy back then, we are now storing the artifacts from the many exhibitions in the CASAdelDRAGON in just such high storage.
The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) was almost finished when the expansion of the gallery began. The just discovered teraquarks turn physics on its head, or on its feet, depending on how you see it. The scientific accompaniment of the narrative of the pandemic has raised the question in large parts of the population as to what knowledge was drawn there and for what purpose.
Just as dark energy and the vacuum catastrophe are affecting the current world view of physics, the academic world loses its footing when it entered the stage of politics. The simultaneity of contradicting theories as the basis for the acquisition of knowledge is the grail around which science should dance. When you enter the arena there are games and bread, but no space for discourse and contradiction. The only thing that counts is thumbs up or down. Anyone who reduces research results to fundraising becomes a dancing bear. Digital amnesia is longed for in the next few years. But whoever has forgotten cannot forgive either.
Applying plaster to the wall is a magical moment. Before that, the eye is caught by all the cracks, different colors, bumps and artifacts from water and electrical installations. The eye sees this unfinished for years. Then one day a miracle happened. The loosely piled up becomes a unit, the space becomes visible and tangible. The acoustics change. A dark tone becomes sound. A space is a body. Just as bacteria inhabit our intestines, we inhabit these spaces. The interaction between space and residents should not be underestimated.
We were just in our twenties when we made the decision to rebuild an old house in the mountains of eastern Spain. The young life wanted to gain space. This room should be the basis for the new life that the room works out in order to fill it with ideas, projects, dreams and wishes. The gain in space quickly turned into an expansion of knowledge. It was the realization that this space was not borne by the builders, there was no atlas that makes room for the biosphere, there were countless helpers and preparers, there was this 700-year-old history of this building, which was newly developed , from a new generation with new ideas, from a ragged troop of enthusiasts who celebrated what they did every day.
The house was known in the village as “Old Mary’s House”. At the beginning of the 19th century it would be inhabited by a family dedicated to the wine trade. The word Parras in the street name is a reminder of this. The old Maria saw the beginning of the renovation of the house herself and visited us regularly. Even with walking disabilities, it was her concern to see how the house was rebuilt. The old people in the village encouraged us to keep going. Life in the house also means life in the village. They proudly led tourists to the house of the dragon. And so we realized. It wasn’t our house, it was the house of the village and its residents and visitors, and even during the reconstruction phase it was a guest house for all the helpers. The dragon winding around the fireplace has given the house a new dedication. He is looking towards the center of Europe, to the northeast, and he knows why.
Our friend Jo was sitting in the kitchen and thinking about the lighting in the gallery.Sonia plastered a wall for the first time in her life. Juan erects a pillar to support an arch as part of a niche that will house fuse boxes and other electronics.
The preparations for the first exhibition were of a very fundamental nature. When rebuilding the house, we could not pay so much attention to the ground floor. It served as a warehouse for all the building materials. The CASAdelDRAGON consists of three separate buildings. The passage between the two larger parts has been completely rebuilt and also received a new lintel.
The professional production of the broken tiles, the further processing and the finish, in many places the hardworking helpers have left their manual traces.
Colorful mosaics are installed in many places in the house. The visitors begin to smile and if they stay longer, some hesitantly ask whether they could also make such a broken tile mosaic. The production is basically simple, the material science is clear. For some, the magic of contemplative action opens up. You sink into your flow and the hand finds the next piece without consciously thinking about it beforehand. Despite the urgency of the approaching date of the opening, there is room in the CASAdelDRAGON, especially for young people to experience this for themselves.
So it was ambitious to finish this arch. But it was also intended as a framework and stage to later present the art in an appropriate way.
Over the past 14 years, more than 40 exhibitions have taken place in the CASAdelDRAGON. The decision on the day of the first opening was made in mid-2003, about three and a half years earlier.
An event does not take place when everyone has finished. It takes place when the guests arrive.
When we spread the news that we were going to open a gallery in a village in the mountains of Castellon, away from the big metropolises or major sights, we were smiled at by some. It would certainly not pay off, we were prophesied. But of course it would be nice to have such a place of international art nearby. And it is a social place of encounter, with the culture, with the guests and artists, with the village, the landscape and with oneself. The power of the place can be felt. The walls seem to have recorded all the stories, conversations and encounters, keep them calm and slowly and steadily pass them on to new visitors. The building, as part of the village architecture, is a completely arched, classical, physical place. You can g**gle CASAdelDRAGON and find this and many other articles and photos, but you can only experience the atmosphere and the feeling if you come and visit this place.
Those who think differently these days can be assigned to two groups. There are those who are wrestling for the attention of the masses in the same virtual places. In the charm of the shaky smartphone videos, you get intoxicated by access, length of stay and screen time. But there are also others who seem to have withdrawn into private life, who stay quiet, not out of worry or fear, but because it corresponds to their nature. They practice patience and persist in their cause, they prepare for new guests and stay in the physical. They continue to orientate themselves towards real encounters, they draw their messages from the visible mouths of their counterparts. They keep their distance to injustice, violence and propaganda.
The gallery has many niches and corners in which material can be stored or objects of art can be displayed. And again the plaster creates the feeling for the room.
Just as medicine is currently soaring towards increasingly daring theories, so is physics, too, and biology will follow suit in the years to come. The established professional opinion assumed that the DNA ultimately determines all processes in the cell and thus the organism and, to a certain extent, its social interaction with similar species. What the mRNA represents for biologists, the quarks are in physics. The desire to be able to describe the phenomena of the world in a unified theory is the longing for the truth, the true, which can and should be considered safe. Defending established opinion stands in the way of knowledge. To paraphrase the philosopher Popper, there is certainty only in the proof of inaccuracy.
The gallery’s high storey is also getting valuable plastering. The floor of this art storage room was tiled by Oliver. He had already set up many exhibition stands in his life. His motto was: There is still something going on!
The plaster on the walls and ceilings of the gallery is based on marble dust, a waste product from the surrounding marble works. This dust is mixed with white cement and mineral paints. A light blue has been chosen for the ceilings. On the one hand, most visitors feel attracted by this color above them; on the other hand, this choice supports the color fastness of the works on display. The beige of the walls is reminiscent of the predominant stone of these old walls. The plaster has remained unchanged over the years, breathable and neutral with regard to the art on display.
In general, it can be observed in the sciences that computer-based simulation replaces field observation. To do this, the complexity of the issue has to be reduced, especially where no measured values can be incorporated. Many medical statements today are based on simulations. The economization of the sciences inevitably leads to a conflict of interests. Assumptions can become certainties in the interests of the sponsors. As in all belief systems, the high priests are trained who, because of their professionalism, preach the faith and do not tolerate contradiction. The objection outside of the subject is rejected as it is. The ranks of the elite in the certainty of their interpretive authority becomes a bulwark for those who think differently. All power emanates from the people, but it does not seem to return there. The educated elites have rarely shaped the citizens’ movements, their sons and daughters very much.
Old clay tiles found their place in this wall. We had pulled them out of the beach and collected them in many visits to the sea. It was a funny picture as we got out of the cars with construction buckets and beach mats in Vinaros. We found our treasures in the rubble. The old people watched us and knew what we were doing.
One thing is secretly doing good things. You lose energy. The other is to do good things under the eyes of witnesses. You might get energy. Maybe that’s why we invent the angels on their clouds as children. To be able to imagine that someone is looking at us when we are doing the good things is reassuring. For many people, the CASAdelDRAGON and its guests are eyewitnesses. Of course this is not a house of angels. But it likes to send energy to team up with those who do the good things. Many healing professions also do the good things to get rid of the pain of the past. They see their good as confirmation of their ability to overcome the evil. Those who visit the House of the Dragon learn quickly … these people will simply carry on their tragedies.
When people find that they feel balanced when they do the good or when they don’t do the good… then … and only then … their release begins. When they see they have to, they must, they are still locked in their story. Otherwise they give food to what there are working against. If people are sure that they have no reason … then they could let the good things happen around them.
Six days before the first exhibition opening, the floor of the gallery still looked like this. Many friends and neighbors from the village shook their heads and said we couldn’t possibly manage that: to finish and to open the gallery on time.
Creating a place of positive energy requires the donation of this energy. Sometimes more than 20 people were working in all the places in the house the last few days before the first opening. Back then, we cut the last few weeks, days and hours together in a photomontage. The original video is lost, but a remake with original photos has been published (“las ultimas horas“).
Like every construction site in life, the construction of the gallery was a logistical challenge. The place of the action was warehouse, workshop and construction site in one.
Just as the reconstruction of the CASAdelDRAGON was a joint effort over many years, the creation of the gallery is also thanks to teamwork. Leaders in particular often do not realize how little they can create on their own. The fragmentation of society, lamented by many, the promise of salvation in the individual approach, the dogmas of Western values have all contributed to anchoring people in their isolation. The natural experience of the physical, the manual work, they have given way to the screen time. The emptiness sets in when they meet for a beer and really they start only the z**m.
The stairs were built and used daily. The organic railing was built from reinforcement iron, rabbit wire, mortar and white tile adhesive.
The story of the building of the gallery was and remains the story of its builders. It was thanks to their dedication, their courage, and their perseverance that this work could be completed. There was tremendous power and strength in working together for the common goal. We experienced and enjoyed this time as a community. At this point in time there was still no talk of FamiliaFeliz. But the will to found our decentralized community seven years later was also borne by the memory of this time.
Six hours before the opening: Antje fills stones from the river bed into the showcases that are embedded in the floor.
These showcases offer a very unusual perspective on the works of art. And many people, standing unintentionally on the bulletproof glass became frightened and backed away immediately. But anyone who has this experience is burned by the appearance of the work of art insode the showcase… forever.
A power strip, a HQI spotlight, a test lamp (defective), the light does not come on – find the fault – one minute before “door open”.
Work continued until the last hour. A problem with the lighting installlation put into question the achievement of the goal in the last few minutes. More than 100 guests were already waiting in front of the door, curious what had become of this project, interested in the art and the view into another world.
The first exhibition had the title Amigos en Arte, this was to be followed by more under the same title. After a few minutes, the first work of art was sold to an English test pilot and art collector.
With the opening, three and a half years of preparation came to an end. Again it was time to say goodbye to an era and venture into the unknown of the new. A short while ago the sound of hammer and chisel could be heard, the groan of the cement mixer boomed through the empty rooms. Now it was dedicated to the voices of the visitors who turned their eyes to the art. A short while ago it was still the dust of the construction site in the mouth, now the palate enjoyed the champagne.
In 2020/2021 the gallery showed the exhibition las ultimas horas. It spans many of the exhibitions that have taken place in the gallery in the years since it first opened. The works of art are telling the story of the gallery. They are also telling the story of the artists who created them. The photos in this article are telling the story of the last hours before the first opening, and they are also telling the story of the helpers who made all this possible.
After reading this article, some may wonder what the connection is between the architectural history of a gallery, the creation of a social space, the experience of a temporary community in action for a common goal, the paradigm shift in the sciences, the agony of old and the dawn of the new media.
As always, the key lies in the human itself, and the memory of a particular person may help with that.
It is the boundless love for people, the respect and attention, the quiet but powerful work from the second row, what has distinguished people like Heide Brandt. She was able to give her communities a center, a point of reference in navigating their own lives. She was there for the others, and enough for herself. She endured, carried and contributed. She listened carefully, motivated and encouraged. She was a friend of contemporary and modern art, a collector of selected prints and drawings, she was a teacher for all of us. Heide had accompanied the reconstruction of the CASAdelDRAGON over the years, sometimes from a distance, sometimes on site. Of course, she was there in the last few hours before the first opening.
Heide passed away in early April of 2021. This article is dedicated to her.
Alternative living communities are currently receiving many inquiries from people who have voluntarily or involuntarily broken away from old relationships in their local sociaties. They are looking for inspiration and functional approaches to organize human coexistence in a new, different and more social way. As a community, we started Sunday Conversations and gather people online who want to join communities, who intend to start communities, and people who have had community experience and those who are currently in living in community. The focus is international, an important aspect is the necessary cooperation among the communities.
History is made by the victor, and so is science. This is the story of those who set out to create knowledge and those who want to believe in it. It is the story of the Big Bang, of dark matter, of alternative explanatory models and the arrogance of the respective elites to simulate the world as they would like to see it. It’s the story of us.
It’s also the story of a spice rack in a dragon house kitchen. And it is the story of cooking and eating as it is a story of thinking and acting. Insight liberates, especially from belief in knowledge.
In the fall of 1609, Galileo made the mistake of pointing his newly developed telescope at the sky. He had always been a critic of Aristotle and what he saw made him doubt again. The observation of nature could not be brought into harmony with the worldview of that time, the earth at the center of the then known universe was untenable.
Around 1929 Hubble published his first scientific paper on the relation of redshift and distance between galaxies. For his famous diagram, he chose the speed as the scale on the Y-axis. Einstein stopped his work on the cosmological constant. He called his assumption that the universe is static his “biggest mistake”.
In 1924, Louis de Broglie presented his research thesis, in which he proposed electrons have properties of both waves and particles. As a consequence he rearranged the terms of the Plank-Einstein relation to apply to all types of matter.
More than 20 years later David Bohm renewed the evidence for de Broglies thesis, known as DBB theory.
We consider this to be youthful deviationism. If we can’t refute Bohm we have to agree to ignore him.
What do Galileo, Hubble, de Broglie and Bohm have in common and what can we learn from them in times of pandemic?
What most people will experience in 2021 has been prepared well in advance. Gaining sovereignty over the definition of a pandemic, along with the privatization of public tasks in the health care system, paved the way for the new power elite to enter the GREAT RESET. What is meant is less the smoke candle from Davos than the adjustment of global flows of money and goods to the new conditions. And these new conditions result from the dictates of the power elites and their simulations. This is intended to give the phrase “We have good reason to believe that …” is given sufficient evidence. Maintaining and expanding the power structure was and remains the priority of the elite. The call to science as a neutral and thus objective witness turns into a comedy. Whoever orders the desired result in research with a subsidy gets what he orders. So it is helpful that capitalist research produces easily manipulable protagonists who tie their reputation to theses once they have been implemented.
Galileo has been placed under house arrest for the rest of his life, a tried and tested solution to keep the public track free for the elites to enable them to achieve their goals. Hubble was not able to get used to his own thesis of interpreting the redshift as an expression of the escape speed of galaxies. The reputation struggling Einstein gave up his static view of the universe very quickly to stay inside the mainstream. Oppenheimer’s statement about Bohm exposes the institution of science as a circus maximus, in which bread and games are distributed like budgets and honors. And thumbs up when the ruling elite thinks so.
Anyone who sits in the audience and believes that everything is going well here is more than naive, he is safe in the mainstream and is supervised in thinking.
In all cases, turning to nature observation leads to frictions with the narrative. This narrative is not designed to explain the world, but to maintain or establish the order desired by the elites. Friction becomes a danger, censorship the means of choice and distance from the factual is to be measured in cosmological units of distance. Scientists worried about their reputation become – in their bigotry – complicit, and all means are right: whose bread I eat, whose song I sing. Simulations are invented and adjusted until they bring the result of what was ordered. My ancestors believed what came from the pulpit, my grandfathers what was written in the newspaper, my father what was seen on TV, and my brothers what was published in Wikipedia and what Google showed as a search result and in general what the AI now outputs as a result.
The fictitious narrative is stabilized by adding more and more theses. In the end, you need quasars, dark matter and constants of nature, all of which only conceal what friction remains in the face of nature, which you can observe, but which you don’t have to and shouldn’t if you want to stay in the mainstream. I don’t know whether hydrogen is baked into helium in a thermodynamic process inside the sun and released protons find their way into my observing eye or whether our sun works off the potential differences of the environment in a long glow like an Elms fire. But I remember that simple descriptions gain an advantage as long as they cannot be refuted, but only if they correlate with the established mainstream. Scientific progress can be measured well in the unit GENERATION. Whenever a generation of researchers dies out, there is always room for new ideas. Bad luck is for those who do not survive their PhD supervisor long enough. Wise is the one who looks for the oldest possible doctoral supervisor.
Biological weapons are conceived, developed and used. Propaganda is a cost-effective, efficient and continually used means of the elite. Anyone who now makes a connection between these two statements is considered a conspiracy theorist. He should be placed under house arrest, no bread and no games.
What is the basis of this human tragedy that continues to lead us astray?
Humans have always tried to save energy. This was well advised in the savannah. The tiger was close, everybody had to run faster when it mattered, not faster than the tiger, but faster than the neighbor.
Thinking costs energy. The externalization of thought is the means of choice. What has already been researched does not have to be researched again, what has already been proven does not have to be proven again. Scientific reputation certifies the implementation of the thesis, not its development and above all not its repeated verification. In this way, all science becomes a belief system, and those who contradict risk a war of faith. The crusade can easily become the wrong way. And an event is required that questions everything and allows you to start all over again.
A master who demands the adoption of his own theses educates disciples, but not new masters.
Religion and science are two sides of the same coin. This coin is not the bread. But that is exactly what is confused in the game.
The science that emerged under the Moors and their turn to nature observation was a declaration of war for the rulers and questioned the divine order, the derivation of which was the secular, as the lords liked. The church could not stand idly by the degradation of the earth (as a place created by God) to a satellite of the sun. Whoever so fundamentally questions what has been considered true for centuries must be a heretic before the Lord. The naive look through the telescope underestimates the impact of the publication of the observation. In the age of the bomb it had to be the atom, and that’s how I learned that it is the atom that releases the sun’s energy. The alternate truth wasn’t in the textbooks. Teachers who preach the truth don’t need a book of lies.
So I would have wished for a master in school who would motivate me to replace yesterday’s lie with tomorrow’s better lie, knowing that it would be a lie again.
Winners write history. Unfortunately, this always applies. Whoever goes into battle creates collateral damage, and that always creates suffering. Whoever sees in his victory the confirmation of the correctness of his thesis falls victim to hubris. So there must be reasons for the correctness of one’s own actions. The sacrifice is to be made, usually by the loser. And there is no alternative and regret is to be limited.
38 years ago we put a camping gas stove on an old wooden trestle to cook 10 kg of potatoes for the first helpers. A bucket of water next to it, a box of spices, that was the first kitchen in the CASAdelDRAGON.
After that we built many kitchens, some in connection with the casa and its visitors. The kitchen, as the central meeting place in the house, becomes a stage for planning, preparing and eating and for dialogue, embedded in the peace of the common meal.
There are many places with tile mosaics in the house of the dragon. In the large kitchen, the celtic knot dominates over the stove. Now, after 38 years, a shelf for spices has been added on its left side.
The big and small stories of the CASA and its residents are hidden in it. Old tiles from France are used and are reminiscent of friendships that have lasted for two generations. A scallop resembles the path that also leads through this village in eastern Spain and a New Year’s Eve meal in the Pyrinees many years ago.
Even the choice of spices is the history of the chefs through all ages and thus part of the history of this house.
Elita, Sing-Yang, Fadeela, Mariella, Bärbel and Martin, Etienne and many others have left their mark on history.
What can you learn from this kitchen? What can be a healthy connection between what is happening on the stove and in the world? You are what you eat!
The many visitors brought their recipes and preferences with them, they left us memories and tastes.
But we have to cook for ourselves, again and again, and think anew, think for ourselves. If we externalize the food we end up with fast food, if we externalize the thinking we end up in the black hole of knowledge, waiting for the next Big Bang.