Since May this year the ground level of the Mill, our shop, has undergone an incredible transformation. Fellows, participants and the local community have worked together, repairing and painting every window, stacking 200 year-old barn-wood to form an inhabitable stair and stage, built a new indoor and outdoor kitchen, constructed a 24’ long projection wall, and cleared a generous open space, providing the foundations of this year’s workshop: Constitution.
On July 8th the workshop officially began when construction work transitioned into investigating and questioning the constitutive elements of the space: the iron columns, the windows, the walls, the ground and the encounter with the surrounding landscape.
Throughout the four-week workshop participants from a wide range of disciplines developed a shared language between the elements of the Mill, its context and inhabitants. Out of these interactions, many forms of conversation emerged – between the works and spaces, bodies and words, gesture and stillness– moving towards new models/structures/frameworks of constitution.
As we moved further into conversations and questions of Constitution we searched for the strings beneath the notes, for a largeness of being that repels our current accelerating violence, one that embraces life and articulates a poetic, spatial and material imagination of the social contract. Perhaps the greatest source of this largeness of being is found in the fragility of being, for in the act of embracing our fragility we enact a social-poetic imagination, making visible the connective tissues that bind freedom.
With CONSTITUTION, Arts Letters & Numbers proposed a dynamic crucible of free thought, a space where the widest spectrum of who we are could ask the questions of our time and create works that would bring us forward. A space where many elements could come together to create the alchemy of transforming how we experience today into how we will experience tomorrow.