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self reliance

_ All people need basic sustenance, food and a space to live and work, and tend to thrive in company of people with similar values; for this we’ve created cities and systems of exchange, grand networks of interdependence.

Artists need the time and space to practice their arts, and tend to thrive in a community that values aesthetic and intellectual creation.

Cities offer access to cultural activity, yet to live in a city often means entering its system of exchanges, such as earning money to pay rent, which can feel like a cyclical trap in more expensive places. Artistic institutions offer support to artists, yet the support is limited, so artists often end up in the precarious state of applying for grants, temporary positions, limited artistic productions, and other ways of earning money. This state of instability often feels like poverty and desperation, an insecurity that can produce anxiety for the artists who simply need the means to practice their arts and enjoy aesthetic and intellectual exchanges with the community.

The goal of Self-Reliance is to reduce this dependence on urban systems and institutions; the goal is not necessarily to be autonomous, but to be at least somewhat capable of meeting one’s own needs. A community that can provide for its own basic sustenance can then also determine its own values and standards of living. Imagine the transition from Precarity to Self-Reliance as the difference between a group of refugees and a group of nomads; refugees are forced into desperate flight without proper means, seeking salvation, while nomads live deliberately in a state of motion, relying on their skills and direct relationship with their environment.

A concept for the self-reliant community of artists is the network of places and people, places that can have their own means of generating food and money (e.g. farming, small businesses), and people who can move between these places according to needs (e.g. planting/harvest time, specific projects). By developing a community that involves peer-to-peer exchange to provide for its own needs, people can move beyond their institution-dependent overspecialization as artists by learning other useful skills (e.g. farming and building). When the artistic community can better take care of itself, it can then have a healthier relationship with everything that institutions and urban systems offer. Additionally, any future failures of the urban systems and institutions will have less impact on the already self-reliant community (e.g. cuts in art funding, or resource crises).

reflections on self reliance

you can read Ralph Waldo Emmerson's classic essay on Self Reliance here:

+ oh wow man, I have so much to say about Self Reliance…

- yes, I also have a lot to say about Self Reliance, and instead of editing the stupid shit you said, I'm going to present my ideas here – or perhaps I'll use the Discussion Space of this site to communicate with you about it so that we're not sharing our poo-flinging contest with everyone as though it were official doctrine…

+ oh, okay

- you could have written that in the discussion space, not here

+ okay, sorry

- stop it

Starting a Residency

choosing a location

elements that help a place succeed:
1. Accessibility – are people able to reach the location using public transport, without too many transfers?
2. Independence – will the people be able to obtain food and whatever else they need (e.g. AMAP or Intermarche!)
3. Aesthetic Quality – is the building or its surroundings in some way interesting or inspiring?
4. Star Power – is there someone as cool and famous as Jan Ritsema there to attract attention?
5. blah blah blah I know everything
6. etc.

Sustainable Designs & Self sufficiant lab

Laboratory of ideas (bad & good) for energy and food autonomy of our places :

KERMINY RESEARCH : You can find here a lot of reflections and materials to collectively think about the place of Kerminy :

thinking_together.txt · Last modified: 2020/11/21 13:58 (external edit)