les enfants du paradis


thoughts for a project by Thomas Körtvélyessy
started 2006 at tüzraktér, Budapest (Hungary)

Thursday, August 10, 2006

con.sens - dis.sens /and the road to paradise

"Rather than looking for some stupefying and infantilizing consensus, it will be a question in the future of cultivating disensus." Felix Guattari.
taken from The Ideal City - website of Ministry for Economical Diversification of Western Canada

even though Felix Guattari would have labeled consensus as 'infantile' i find that merely a typical expression of a sentiment that was present in France at that time. consensus need not be stupefying between aware individuals. that is the whole question, what is necessary for the consensus that will allow the greatest range of diversity. because i believe that it is in the presence of the other and in communication that such a freedom can be achieved, so a satisfactory consensus needs to be created.

today i believe it is more clear that both consent and dissent are available and necessary, to be able to make rational decisions, both need to be sensed clearly and understood in a situation. myself i rather look for finding con.sens.us in the situation of the already existing dissent, of which there is already so much and it can severely harm us and endanger survival (just as enforced or normative consensus would...)

so much is standing in our way towards understanding: our characters, our cultural formation like language (meaning codes of speach, movement, imagery etc.) all are very different from each other, whether between two cultures or any two people. how can we find the best possible agreement?

this dissensus is a byproduct of diversity, as the dissenting other, being different, can sense and understand things i myself find hard to understand. if we reach a balance about this, and combine our diverse understandings, both of us will make profit from this.

in a way that could be seen as a historic development, the world struggling every day to realise finding a consensus how each of us can live in her//his course of life on Earth as fully as possible, fulfill this course. this includes animal and plant life, their spirits, the spirit of matter, if you will...

i used to believe that if we'd only be able to dive down beneath all the cultural patternings of our perception and retrieve the seeming openness we have as animals, this would be easier (the old dream of Eurocentric early modernism: "Alle Menschen werden Brüder!"
[alll men become brethren] ...)

but it takes more than that, because all those cultural patterns also have to be reformed (and always are anyway in the course of one generation to the next) to fit the new understandings and realisations.


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