The Laboratory of Intelligence Culture has its origins in a substantial dialogue. The wide question raised at its inception is framed as “what to do with our ‘minds’ in the 21st century?”.
Mind is a concept. Different eras, different civilizations in human history, expanded different aspects of it, inquiring and occupying it for different purposes. How do we relate to mind? Is it indeed the vestige and privilege of being a human? What good is it to have a mind? What are we humans in the 21st century occupying it with or for? Which freedoms does it open, if at all? Is technology influencing our perception of it, in it?
We believe the serious way to address such questions is by a plurality of voices, thus the concept of a ‘Laboratory’, calling for newfound researchers to inquire and interact, with the question and with a common reflective space of creation. The aim is a space of critical culturing of intelligences at play.
What interest us, is to create the circumstances to meet the question anew, uncluttered. On unfamiliar grounds, allowing it to provoke a first reflection of ourselves to ourselves, a flickering in intensity. Entering through a raw and naive corridor, and on the move weaving a network of connections to the bottomless richness of existing references.
‘Navigation in uncertainty’ – as the fundamental experience of being alive. Not knowing is the norm upon which we explore anew, when we succeed. Questioning what is at the base of our beliefs.
‘Reflective autonomy’ – claiming the basic capacity to operate the power of one’s own reflective sense-thought and intuition, at times within and at times without the main stream.
META Challenge – Literacy of Mind
The Lab first task is to compile a literacy that can support reflective autonomy. We call it a ‘Literacy of Mind’, compiled by the Lab while in exploration. The task is incommensurate but critical, thus we navigate. We do not expect it to be comprehensive in the sense of ordering under one language all possible voices. It necessarily must not be, its depth would not reside in categories. At the moment we think of it as a multiplicity of sleeves (keyholes) from which to explore and in-sight. New corridors can be written or rewritten, merged or detached, thus the literacy is open-ended.
“we are the citizens, the authors and the products of our mind”.
The citizens of our mind – because the mind, whatever it may be, delineates a space in which we experience and exist. It is an environment in which we wish to feel at home, and to somehow have a say. A space in which we must grow our intuition for navigation.
The authors and storytellers of our mind – because mind is a medium which is susceptible to shaping. Shaping our mind in front of all other forces at play, we write and rewrite its lines, do and undo its contours. It is our own construction no less than it is the result of history and circumstances. Not taking authoring in our hands means leaving the mind to the ongoing calcification of history and chance alone.
The products of our minds – because while shaping our mind, we are as well shaped by it. The way we describe this space of existence influences where and how we come into being. The way we experience in it influences our responses and thus our intersection with the world at large. A meeting point which continuously edits our history, past, present and future.
The Lab operates, in this initial phase, via propositions brought at events, that invite participants to explore & experience, validate, critically reflect and extract via the particular sleeve. Documents and creative artifacts are an output of these events. We expect a Literacy of mind to begin to aggregate and coagulate out of these very trajectories of experience. To achieve a critical mass that, while provisional, does make a difference at the level of engaged individuals.