Art is the New Religion: shapeshifting in the Information Age

Presented by Michael Dudeck

Drawing on ten years of experience as a Cultural Engineer, Michael Dudeck Witch Doctor discusses what he perceives as a paradigm transformation whereby Art replaces Religion as an Institution available to and for all the world. He proposes Art as a vehicle to gather in community, challenge and disrupt prevailing norms, create a forum for discourse, reinvigorate authentic ritual in an age of endless synthetic reproductions, and provide the opportunity to don masks and perform various aspects of oneself before a public as both witness and participant. A hybrid lecture/performance/workshop this session will involve a number of exercises that help participants channel through Art various concepts and conditions they wish to explore, and helps provide a fertile tactile ground for the manifestation of creative ideas participants have stored away inside of themselves. The workshop also looks at how all of the constructs that we have inherited (gender, sexuality, race, religion and identity) can be challenged and played with through performativity — the self-authored body in ritual space — and provides the tools to using Art as a means to achieve self-actualization, which inevitably spirals out to produce larger and larger cultural transformations that are creative and expansive as opposed to restrictive and repetitive.

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