GENERAL HUMANITY stands for a “general ethology”, a science of conviviality in a shared world. It is a transdisciplinary laboratory of knowledges, practices and encounters and is shaped by its very activity. Its experimental workshop/performances held in different cities each time implicate a fluctuating ensemble of researchers from the academic and the artistic worlds.
GENERAL HUMANITY considers itself a Planet Mars of theory, poetry, performance and activism beyond the “humanist” delusions of progress, rationality and objectivity. A planet Mars from which to reconstruct mutually beneficially relations among the a/biotic community.
GENERAL HUMANITY was founded in 2018 by Ingrid Hoelzl together with Remi Marie and Emese Kovacs in collaboration with the Department of Gender Studies at the Central European University in Budapest. It operates online (as a blog) and on-scene in the form of workshop/performances. 2018/19 the lab was based at Collegium Helveticum at ETH Zürich, a transdisciplinary think-tank involving art and science. Since 2020 the lab is stationed in Hamburg where it is associated with the Verband für neue Musik (VAMH) and the Dachverband Freie Darstellende Künste Hamburg (dfdk).
The performances are developed for a broad audience; they are “sympoietic” gatherings/happenings involving the public which is invited to respond to the propositions made with words, sounds, moves, marks etc. 1 No theoretical background knowledge is needed; complex issues are rendered meaning-full in a double sense: as words and as sounds; as moves of bodies and minds. Recent and upcoming activities (labs) are ANIMAL ANCESTOR AGENCY (General Humanity Lab 3, 2020, Hamburg), POSTIMAGE OPERAAAHHH!!! (General Humanity Lab 2, 2019, Zurich), and IN THE MOOD FOR MUD (General Humanity Lab 1, 2018, Budapest).
1This is a reference to Donna Haraway who opposes of sympoiesis to autopoiesis, stressing that nothing can emerge by itself. We could also use John Dewey’s term of “transactional here” which carries the same mutualist import (see also my recent post on transaction and traversee).