Archeypical Encounters in Shibari

A weekend of workshops – two days of only ropes from lunch until deep into the night. After the Saturday self-suspension workshop, Sunday was for a completely different group, with a correspondingly different focus. A group of seven from a Berlin Tantric massage organisation wanted to see what of Shibari would come together with what they did. More knots and learning, some figures I’d forgotten, vats of chai tea, suspensions, Dasniya and I tying Lewis, another great pot of soup and more post-rope eating around the long table … The theme for the next monthly workshop might be Shibari and Food.

In the meantime, Dasniya hauls over to Helsinki in a week and an half, for a workshop at Todellisuuden Tutkimuskeskus. For those who are interested in doing her workshop, all the information is below.

Archeypical Encounters in Shibari
A performative rope research in Helsinki

When: February 23th to 27th, 2012
Thu 17-21h
Fri 17-21h
Sat 12-18h
Sun 12-18 + Showing
Mon contemplation + future planning

Where: Todellisuuden Tutkimuskeskus (Reality Research Center) / Suvilahti / Puhdistamo 6, II krs / Helsinki, Finland

Costs: 100 €, max 12 participants
Contact: Julius: / 050-537 4244
More information: Todellisuuden Tutkimuskeskus , Dasniya Sommer

What goods are at stake in a Second Life age of global mega bit exchange? Among billions of personal and more anonymous data, identities get suspended. If things were simply upside down, or inside out it would be an easy trot. But affairs seem more intricate. Seizing chaos literally. Rooting bodies airwards, floating into the world wide void.

Incompatible archetypes form patchwork communities and trench warfares. On the scout for oneness, traveling meditative galaxies, individuals become partially ascetic. Is the social task to transform and reduce archetypical existence to zen-zero?

The Method: Atheist Yoga & Un-Shibari:

Traditional Shibari settings operate with binary constellations like active-passive, men- women, dominant-submissive. One person taking control over a second person, by restricting and decorating them with ropes. Or: The Good and the Evil, The Beauty and the Beast.

What questions are needed, in order to move beyond these (gender insensitive) concepts?

-what archetypical behaviour do we find, and identify with, within the normative Shibari practice? why disidentifying with these figures? why are they enjoyable/can be problematic?
-towards what dynamic do specific type-constellation lead?
-how can rope technique be tailored, so that it becomes compatible with performative role models?
-what archetypical sensual/sexual patterns do practitioners decisively or unconsciously experience, copy, manifest or challenge in relation to their (sub-) cultural context?
-what concepts for semi-intimate relations allow for these kind of experiments in real life? (between romanticism, polyamory and asexuality)
-which other socially informed practices, like reading, dancing, massaging, tea ceremony, food can be combined?

Generating performative material:

-investing into stupidity, non-rational primitive actions -combining these with ropes
-self-suspension as subversive strategy
-adding archetypical performance to the rope work
-learning the traditional technique and finding new approaches -rope improvisation
-deviating dramaturgies within a rope situation: self->partner->self suspension

More meta-material to generate tasks/for Mondays reflection:

-avoiding second nature-shibari patterns or their (semi-)conscious reproduction -unjudging, indulging and exploiting them
-transforming the archetype
-talking about (care-) ethics
-being critical on Shibari/BDSM practices?
-finding formats for non-/participatory performances

self-suspension and finland

The last self-suspension workshop consumed all of Sunday and even before it began there was talk of another, so happiness is to say it will be happening on Saturday 11th February.

Also unexpectedly one of the places I’ve long wanted to visit has fallen into my lap, and I shall be wandering north- and eastwards in three weeks with Dasniya for a workshop in Helsinki.

Self-Suspension Workshop in February

Am Samstag den 11. Februar von 14-20 Uhr.

In diesem Kurs behalten alle die Seile in den eigenen Händen. Wir üben quasi Aerial-Multitasking. Dazu gehören Seil- und Atemtechniken mit physischen Intensitäten, Entspannungsmomenten und Kraft zu koordinieren… Knotentechnisch verwenden wir traditionelles, und unseren liebgewonnen Anarchostil*.

Kosten 40 Euro.
Anmeldung und Info:

On Saturday 11th, 14-20 h.

We will take apart the complex act of self- suspension. Coordinating rope technique, strength, breath, relaxation and physical intensities in the air.
Using traditional knots and our beloved anarchic style*.

Costs: 40 Euro.
More information and registration:

yeah but can you do one steam-powered?

This is totally the coolest thing I have seen today, Blackheads MC Helsinki Victorian Goth Chopper wins Custom Bike Show 2006 Norrtälje. I know it’s high petrol-sniffing gear-freakery, but check out the action on the steering mechanism, and the rear wheel hub, and the golden flying eyeball headlamp and brass headset … and, well, I really do wish all that copper piping was backed up by a little coal-fired boiler. mmm steam bikers. I’m off to do some lines of powdered anthracite.

helinski bike courier porn

Ok, so I’m reblogging, get over it. Anyway it’s about Helsinki, the city I almost went to last year for a weekend of smut with a washed-up old choreographer who possibly is reading this and needs it impressed on him that one email in a year isn’t romantic, even by the standards of your barbarian isle. So, back to Helsinki, where bike couriers, who, like dancers possess the innate avant-fashion style fashion aspires to and is always late.

I always miss my bike when I’m not in Melbourne, the closest I’ve come to the same feeling is riding scooters in Taipei or catching a motorbike taxi in Guangzhou. Both these means of transport understand that traffic flows like water, a concept drivers in Melbourne fail to grasp, having similarities with rockfalls and avalanches. A body of moving cars has a language to how it moves, a predictability like a torrent cascading through rapids. That feeling of sliding through traffic, and the aliveness I feel every time I start pedaling, no matter how tired I am, is one of the greatest love affairs of my life.

There’s more to riding a fixed gear than purely the madness of travelling at high speeds in downtown traffic, without brakes. It’s the simplicity of the bicycle and the pedalling movement that makes it special. These guys have a fluidity of movement through traffic which means that they can make really quick decisions.

People who cycle a lot in cities often say that cars seem like personalities in their own right, the person behind the wheel is non-existant. Cars follow their own rules and logic, and by understanding that logic couriers gain a belief and a confidence that they can out-think or out-manoeuver a car. It was this confidence that amazed me, the intuitive trust that a gap will appear in traffic which the courier can slip through without slowing down. Later, when I asked if they ever rode wearing helmets, one of them replied we don’t come to work to crash.

— PingMag

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A Strange Heaven, Contemporary Chinese photography

There’s some rumour going around about me going to Helsinki in the next couple of weeks. Apparently my legendary and prodigious baijiu consuming antics have reached the ears of the vodka-swilling neighbours of the Viking hordes, and the Swiss beer just isn’t cutting it … actually, it’s a smut-filled 48 hours of … smut, and part of my ill-thought plan to go to strange places and pretend I have a fantastic career as an artist. Dead clever.

Anyway, there was another big exhibition of art from China on in Helsinki which just finished, this time contemporary photography. NonStarving Artists mentioned A Strange Heaven, Contemporary Chinese photography a couple of weeks ago, which has a number of the same artists as the flying abortion one in Bern. With all these giant China contemporary art retrospectives, the country must be about as bereft of art as after Younghusband and co pulled a swift one with several tonnes of old Buddha stuff. One day, the Chinese government is gonna want that fetus head back.

The principal themes of the exhibition are founded on the diversity of contemporary Chinese reality. For the most part, the works deal with individual identity, family and present society in times of rapid transition and development. Many of the works are inspired by the aesthetics of ancient cultures and philosophical traditions, and others by recent political upheavals. China’s economy has been expanding rapidly for some decades, which has led to unanticipated social change. This, too, is reflected in the works, which deal with problems that are relatively new to China: urbanisation and globalisation. Many of the artists also deal with the universal problems of sexuality, sensuality and gender.

— Art Museum Tennis Palace

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