A New Survivalism

(workshop and audio scores)
devised and delivered collaboratively with Emma Lindsay

Survivalism:
“A movement of individuals who actively prepare for potential future emergencies which include disruptions to environmental, social or political order.” (Wikipedia)

“The policy of trying to ensure one’s own survival or that of one’s social or national group.” (Oxford Languages) 

A New Survivalism is a shifting set of scores (instructions for independent movement) and a manual (in development) that researches embodied techniques for creating an alternative stockpiling of sensory experience.  In a sense accepting that we cannot ensure the survival of society as a whole, we aim to imprint something of the beauty of our world into the body, to actively construct sense and body memories of our planet, in an act we acknowledge as both concrete and fanciful. 

We call these collected imprints a sensorial stockpile, from which one could tell embodied stories of what once was to future generations. We hope to foster storytelling that moves beyond the scientific facts and figures of predominant environmental discourse, as well as capturing some of the sensorial joy in what is still here. In the West, we often turn to archaeological excavation in order to illuminate the past, digging the archive of the earth. Connecting to the biosphere through a sensitivity to movement, we hope to explore an alternative kind of archaeology, a non-linear, anti-colonial unveiling of eternity within the present moment, a tapping into deep time, a deviation from capitalist clock-time. Perhaps, in this way, we create techniques for the survival of something in human nature that would allow us to rebuild, to do better. We investigate the notion of ‘once’, encountering other beings through the senses, imprinting these experiences through movement. This process is both specific, and ephemeral. 

These materials have been presented at art.earth’s Borrowed Time Symposium and at Theatre and Performance Research Association’s 2022 conference. These audio scores can be found below for download, and we invite you to use them in your own practice. We suggest a donation of £5.