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.
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.
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.
Now is the time to show solidarity. Now is the time to realistically assess your own resources and conditions. Now is the time to build strong bonds between intentional communities and their members. This European dialogue – as a simple sample of backstage activities – is an indication of the challenges and opportunities in working together over a distance.
And it also has special symbolic power thanks to protagonists from three continents. Global, regional and local conditions form the basis of the very personal decisions people make to migrate and to bind themselves to new places. Those who do not lose contact with their tribe, wherever their paths lead, have a clear advantage.
In a magical place magical things happen. The garden of colors, the campus for informal education of FamiliaFeliz, is a place to enjoy. Again and again this space releases the creative potential of the visitors and transforms them into the actors, the protagonists, the designers, the facilitaters of happiness. The garden becomes a stage, a canvas, a building site, an exhibition space and a memory of an idea: in the garden of Epicurus, all people are equal. Unintentionally they give themselves joy in looking at, using and building. They often pick up the thread that others have laid before them, they continue to spin it for the next to come. They meet in their deeds, across time and space. And they take something with them in their hearts, to have experienced themselves in an all-encompassing WE.
This is a story of youth from Romania. This is a story of a social entrepreneur in the house of the dragon. This is the story of a beautiful and brave village in Castellon. This is the story of a founder of a summer school in the little village Ciocănești close to Bucharest. And this is a story of success.
FamiliaFeliz was visited in 2016 from Sorina. She decided to make a travel through different communities in Europe for her master thesis in social entrepreneurship in Copenhagen. She visited with a collegue CASAdelDRAGON to study the special arrangements of our decentralized living community. At the end of her visit she was very well connected to our ideas and principles and she said: “It would be a dream for my kids from the summerschool in Romania, if they could come to this place. Its magic, the village, the people, the kindness, the peace, and the opportunities for youth in the artist color garden of CASAdelDRAGON.”
Our answer was short: “Lets make it happen…!”
Less than 10 month later Serban, the president of a little NGO in Ciocănești (a village close to Bucharest) was sitting on the terrasse in the house of the dragon and said: “I can not belive, its true.”
Sorina took the risk to pay out of her private budget the flights for a group of youth, FamiliaFeliz organised travels inside of Spain and accomodation and food.
For nearly all of the youth it was the first time out of their country, it was the first flight, the first bath in the mediterranean sea, the first trip without parents, the first immersion in a new language, a different culture and a life in an open house with lots of art and music.
The irrepressible will to take in as much as possible, to enjoy as much as possible and to share the joy with everyone in the village was evident every minute.
The youth prepared an activity for the local school, a social art project in the color garden of CASAdelDRAGON.
Sorina co-organised before and after many youth activities in Romania and Juan form FamiliaFeliz joined the team in Bucharest to realise some workshops for trainers, teachers and the management (game of life) of the summer school, also workshops (trencadis, catering) for youth of the region in the following years.
Sorina finshed her studies and started an NGO in Copenhagen, called HORA, related to a traditional Romanian folk dance in which the dancers hold each other’s hands and the circle usually rotates counterclockwise as each participant follows a sequence of three steps forward and one step back. The greek routs of the word are related to circle, singing an celebrating.
Four years later Sorina knocked on the door of CASAdelDRAGON again, and explored in a video panel the possibilities to invite, FamiliaFeliz, the village of Cervera del Maestre and the youth of the region, to participate in international youth projects in the future.
FamiliaFeliz as an open think tank for new social art movements and CASAdelDRAGON as a cultural spot in the region of El Maestrat in Castellon confirmed support to the new NGO in Copenhagen, founded by Sorina on Christmas 2020.
As menioned before, this is a story of youth from Romania. This is a story of a social entrepreneur in the house of the dragon. This is the story of a beautiful and brave village in Castellon. This is the story of a founder of a summer school in the little village Ciocănești close to Bucharest. And the best… the story is true.
In early 2021 FamiliaFeliz received a message from Eric, a belgium father of a daugther, interested in community life. He explained that the original project was to set up a ecovillage project in eastern Spain. Surprisingly he was working on this project in the neighbour village since 3 years and we never met.
In his request he pointed out, that there was a second family from the netherlands and they also like the idea to put roots in the soul of “El Maestrazgo”, the region around us.
We confirmed a chat all together and you can listen the audio record. We added some photos of spring 2020 to underline the reality of a living community in these times. All photos are taken between march and june 2020 in Cervera del Maestre in the CASAdelDRAGON and the color garden.