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The Society for the Advancement of Inflammatory Consciousness, Less Me More Z

Momenta Art
359 Bedford Avenue, between S. 4th and S. 5th, 718-218-8058
September 18 - October 26, 2009
Reception: Friday, September 18, 7 - 9 PM
Web Site

Momenta Art is pleased to present Less Me More Z, the first solo exhibition of work by The Society for the Advancement of Inflammatory Consciousness (SAIC). Over the past seven months, SAIC conducted a series of workshops for roughly 10-15 of its members. Each workshop featured activities adapted from a variety of sources, including addiction recovery programs, role-playing subcultures, improvisational troupes, reality television competitions, team development exercises, new age theory, pagan rituals, and pop psychology texts. Taking as their framework M. Scott Peck’s four stages of community building (described in his book “The Different Drum”), SAIC members progressed through the stages of pseudo-community, chaos, emptiness, and true community. The goal was the establishment of group mind, the systematic dismantling of the ego, and the erasure/death of the individual.

The result of SAIC’s unusual endeavor is “art by consensus;” work that is derived from the interactions of the group, not the individual artist. With no one artist to praise or to blame, the emphasis is on experiential discovery within the group process, and the transformation of many individuals into a cohesive whole. This exhibition showcases the remains of seven discrete workshops, beginning with the kickoff on February 14, 2009 (Valentine’s Day) and ending with a self immolation effigy bonfire on August 15th, 2009. The resulting artifacts include notes, internal communications, photographs, audio and video recordings, drawings, songs, crafts, sculptures, and other unquantifiable detritus.

Perhaps the most important achievement of the group was the creation of “Z”, a self-invented, all-encompassing and perpetually evolving hermaphrodeity, who invisibly presided over their activities, and offered them clues, sometimes illuminating, sometimes mystifying. Z represents a governing philosophy, a higher calling, an internal logic. Both guardian and lodestar, Z is the repository for communal emptiness, receiving the group energy and, like a prism, transforming it into a spectrum of devotion.

As a symbol of this devotion, SAIC has created a “WikiMyth for Z, a guide accessible to all its members, who will continually re-write and edit it to reflect the changing circumstances of the group.

SAIC members, in a covenant with Z, have signed away their collective energies to THE CAUSE (TC). TC ensures the proliferation of the message that Z has now made clear to them. Members have been released from their earthly containers and are, de facto, emancipated from the materiality expressed in this exhibition. Less Me More Z functions as a celebration of their collective memory, but its existence is merely a stepping stone, one fixed point on a line stretching into limitless space. Members continue to work on a level below and above consciousness in a state of perpetual now.

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