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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Summer Conference in Columbia County, NY: August, 5-7

-Image Arts from the Perspective of Spiritual Reality-
the conference and its context

In August of 2010, in Hudson, NY, a conference took place called –The Search for Humanity in Contemporary Art-.  This conference, which sprouted out of the soil of the art section of the school for spiritual science, consisted in a struggle to bring post modern art and art theory into a new light by seeing it in relationship to spiritual science, and likewise to see anthroposophy in its relationship to post modernity.  This was attempted in many ways.  Of course, only the smallest beginning could be made.  A group of around 50 people, mostly artists, gathered together to try this.  You can get an impression of the activities, exhibits, research and events of last summer by going to

During August 5, 6 and 7 of 2011 another gathering will take place in Columbia County, NY.  It has grown out of last summer’s gathering.  Our question has become more specific, -Image Arts from the Perspective of Spiritual Reality-.  The relationships between painting, photography and Cinema, and the greater effect technological reproduction (particularly of artwork) has had on the world and culture, have been central themes for artists over the last decades.  Striving to achieve clarity in these relationships out of a spiritual understanding of reality, this task is left to those working with spiritual science.  A group of artists is also preparing an exhibit to take place parallel to the conference.  The theme of the exhibit is -The Metamorphosis of Fear–.  As you will see below, this work can be seen as a preparatory step.
As we continue to look forward, a larger gathering in the near future is coming into sight which will take all this work and tie it together.  Rudolf Steiner indicated, in conversations with an artist named Jan Stuten, that a new kind of marionette theater needed to be developed to act against the harmful effects cinema had on the human being.  A century has now passed since they worked together on initial plans and sketches for this, but the project never reached maturity.  This was to be a new art, for the small stage, of moving light. Rudolf Steiner saw that in cinema the highest form that could be achieved would be animation. His idea for a renewal of puppetry would be related to what we know as animation, only guided and performed by human beings.  Rudolf Steiner suggested that the first piece he and Stuten could create for this stage, might be called -The Metamorphosis of Fear-.  This summer we are creating an initial exhibit on the theme of the metamorphosis of fear and exploring the arts of painting, photography and cinema in a conference.  Hopefully during the summer of 2012 or 2013 we can bring all this work together to see if we can take another step.
If you would like to join us this summer, or would like to learn more you can contact either:

Nathaniel Williams:   518 672 4090
Laura Summer:    518 672 7302

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