The Planetary Collegium is an international platform that promotes the integration of art, science, technology and consciousness research. Its founding president is Roy Ascott.
The platform aims to produce new knowledge in the context of the arts through trans-disciplinary inquiry and critical discourse with special reference to Syncretic strategies and Technoetic mechanisms. It seeks to reflect the social, technological and spiritual aspirations of an emerging planetary society, while sustaining a critical awareness of the retrograde forces and fields that inhibit social and cultural development. Further, it addresses outcomes that involve new language, systems, structures, and behaviours, and insights into the nature of mind, matter and human identity.
Located on the island of Cephalonia, the Greek linked Center of the Planetary Collegium, the I-Node, expands the platform’s aims to diverse cultures and societies embraced by the Mediterranean, the Black and the Caspian seas, enhancing the transcultural intersections while widening the network of the telematic communities of the platform.
Within the framework of trancultural and transdisciplinary junctions, the I-Node has established a series of events entitled ‘Telemadic: Reframed Cultural Patterns’ which revisit the idea of a nomadic practice traversing current geographical and cognitive fields via technological vistas.
An explanation is given by Plutarch in a small work on brotherly love (Πλουτάρχου «Ηθικά»). He there tells how the Cretans were often engaged in quarrels among themselves, but
became immediately reconciled when an external enemy approached. “And that is their so-called Syncretism”. Later, when the term came to be referred to the mixture of dissimilar or incompatible things or ideas, it became popular to political, religious and social practices as a notion of unification but, most of the times, without the consideration of individuation sustainability.
Roy Ascott managed to put the concept back to its original meaning concerning transdisciplinary practice and planetary thinking.
He argues that Syncretism stands as an attempt to reconcile and analogise disparate cultural practices which may contribute today to our understanding of the multi-layered worldviews that are emerging with our engagement in our post-biological technology. However, as he points out, Syncretism is not in any way to be confused with synthesis, in which disparate things meld into a homogenous whole, thereby losing their individual distinction. Rather, extreme differences are upheld but aligned such that likeness is found amongst unlike things; the power of each element enriching the power of all others within the array of their differences.
Based on this idea, ‘SYNCRETISM: ANISE PHYTOESTROGEN FORMULA’ deals with anise as the main vehicle of a moist media formula which, by technology, creates a new artistic and scientific intersection between the dry world of virtuality and the wet world of biology.
Having a multi-layered character [remedy, poison, estrogen and psychoactive spirit], anise opens up a wide range of cultural dialectics while in use in culinary, pharmacy and distillery.
Moreover, entering into the dry world of viruality it represents the substrate of art fluidity, as an open system, in our post-biological era.
The project combines telemadic culinary arts, art cultivation and pharmacy while linking three spaces in real time. Art-Athina, Crete and Jerusalem will join forces to describe the anise phytoestrogen formula via different cultural practices. The telematic and virtual performance will be from places in where people gathering around drinking raki or tsipouro (Crete) and arak (Jerusalem). Though the telemadic screening, the visitors of Art-Athina will be able to communicate with them through augmented reality technologies.
In parallel, there will be two art works on side walls which deal with the cultivation and the pharmacy parameters of anise, bringing forward the syncretic aspect of transdisciplinary arts.
Specifically the set-up suggested as follows:
1. Center wall has two projections:
a) the interactive performance which will be held between Crete and Art-Athina and b) a virtual performance from Jerusalem
Associated artists: Stavros Didakis – Doris Hakim
2. Side Walls
a) Gardening notes. Notes on Planetary rhizomatic process.
Associated artists: Roy Ascott – Katerina Karoussos
b) Pharmacy notes. Notes on Armenian Pharmacia
Associated artist: Anna Ghamaryan