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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Beyond the Object – Beyond Sensation: A Narrative Report


By David Adams

Let me state up front that for me this conference last July in Hudson, New York, was probably the most inspiring, stimulating, and innovative anthroposophical event I have participated in during forty years of involvement with anthroposophy. I’m not sure everyone there would feel this way, but it was a very diverse group of participants. This conference not only explored and showcased a number of new, cutting-edge modes of activity in the visual arts that anthroposophists are beginning to experiment with, in the general direction of adding elements of motion and time (and observer involvement) to the visual arts to give them more of the nature of music, a direction that Rudolf Steiner said art must take in the future. It also can be seen as pioneering a new mobile structure for an anthroposophical conference – partly by the design, preparation, and openness of the planners, partly by the creativity of those present, virtually all of whom were visual artists and/or musicians. This new form of anthroposophical gathering is essentially permeated by the artistic element but also brings deep content in a way that leaves the participants free to attend to it, even to modify it, as well as to deepen it with further contemplation and activity, or not. Participation is possible at a number of different levels simultaneously. However, I’m not yet sure how much this sort of approach can be extended to other kinds of conferences on other topics. Still, it gives me hope that anthroposophy may, in fact, continue to evolve in the forms of its expression. 

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