Becoming-Earth – Sugaring off – Reading Groups – Artists Residency Program
In early October, with covid precautions in force, the first organized gathering took place since the beginning of the pandemic. 21 3E collaborators came together on the 3E land in the Upper Laurentians (Québec) for 3 days. The event revolved around an intensive, collective reading of a generative philosophical text touching on concepts of land, territory, earth, nature-culture, and the relation between the city and the country. The on-site reading of Deleuze and Guattari’s “The Geology of Morals” was preceded by an online discussion group on Édouard Glissant’s The Poetics of Relation. The aim was to advance the work of integrating the “third ecology” – the environmental – into active relation with the social and conceptual/psychic ecologies experimentally addressed throughout the 15-year history of 3E’s predecessor, the SenseLab. The Australian hub organized its own reading-based gatherings that took place concurrently.
March 2021 was the first “sugaring off” season. This is the annual rite of producing maple syrup. The 3E’s centenary grove of maples has 1000 tap lines descending to a sugar shack equipped with a wood-burning furnace where maple sugar can be distilled using artisanal methods (see image at the top of this post). A revolving cast of 20 3E collaborators learned the basics of this complex, labor-intensive art, supported by a number of local residents who generously shared their traditional knowledge. The process in itself is a study in ecology, necessitating an attunement to the weather, the changing responses of the trees to it, and round-the-clock attention to the temperature and consistency of the forming syrup. It is also something of a ritual, providing an opportunity for people to come together socially around a common activity after the deep freeze of winter. We produced 70 gallons of high-quality organic maple syrup, which we used as a fundraising tool for 3E. The sugaring-off is the high-point of a process that continues year-round, with the care of the forest and the taplines.
- Reading Groups
Online reading groups are a mainstay of 3E activities, creating continuity between the punctual events and activities that bring people together in person, and infusing them with conceptual energies. Reading groups are proposed by collaborators as they feel the need to explore a particular problem or author with the help of others in a group setting. The reading groups are open to all and take place on zoom or by email exchange. We reintroduced email reading groups in order to enable the participation of our DeafBlind collaborators from the Protactile movement, who are able to access email discussions through Braille translation (www.protactileresearch.org; www.tactilecommunications.com. Over the past year, the reading groups have worked through Gabriel Tardes’ The Laws of Imitation, Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari’s A Thousand Plateaus, A.N. Whitehead’s Process and Philosophy, Black Marxism by Cedric Robinson, Édouard Glissant’s The Poetics of Relation, and De l’animation psychosociale à la clinique du quotidien, edited by Miguel Norambuena. A reading group on earth, space, and outer space was held as a side-activity of the Venice Biennale, in collaboration with a collective based at the New School (New York) participating in the Biennale. The Australian hub met throughout the year around the work of Erin Manning and Brian Massumi, among other authors. Email groups dealt with William James’ Essays in Radical Empiricism and Stefano Harney and Fred Moten’s The Undercommons.
- Artists Residency Program
3E has joined a new artists residency program that is just getting off the ground. Embrace: Space for Art, Creation, and Regeneration (https://embracespace.org) is an initiative of renowned curator Catherine de Zegher (Belgium). The 3E land will be one of an international set of residency sites, along with Nathakari (Tamil Nadu, India), Kortrijk (Belgium), Kigali (Rwanda), and Breachacha (Scotland). The priorities, form, and organization of the 3E residency will be be designed collectively by 3E collaborators over the next year. The first residency is projected to take place in 2023.