The Sanctimonious Sect of Nothing Is Sacred / L’Édifiante secte de rien (n’)est sacré: A residency begins…


The first action (non-action? Non-active activity? Non-event? … All of the above?) will take place on Tuesday, May 24, 2016 starting at 2pm. The second one comes shortly after, on Wednesday May 25 at 5pm. Both are in honour of spring and the blooming of the apple blossoms and lilacs. I have been taking an annual “lilac walk” since 2001 and decided to make this yearly ritual the inaugural gesture for the Doing Nothing project.

Tuesday we meet at the corner of Thomas-Keefer and Saint-Patrick, right behind the Atwater Market (so just on the other side of the walking path over the Lachine Canal) in a little parkette called Parc Atwater St-Charles. I’ll be sitting under one of the apple trees. Please come join me if this invitation calls to you. Or, find your nearest apple blossoms (or any other blossoms that are in season near you) if you can’t make it out to this part of the city at this time of day – or, for that matter are far away (from Montreal) – but would still like to participate. Instructions: Spot your tree. Walk toward it. Sit down underneath. Inhale the beauty.

Wednesday we meet on Laurier at the corner of Côte-Sainte-Catherine. There is a big church just before the corner (good landmark). I’ll wait at the corner for about 20 minutes in case you have an ambivalent desire to come then decide at the last minute that indeed you need to be there. At 5:20 I (and anyone who happens to join me) will start walking toward the cemetery on Mount-Royal. Once inside we will wander and visit the cornucopia of apple trees and lilac bushes interspersed around the grounds. Apparently there might be thundershowers on Wednesday so if that’s the case it’ll move to Thursday (in the hopes it won’t rain then either). Feel free to visit the cemetery on your own if the date/time doesn’t work. I highly recommend it.

This is a dream project. A work-in-process that I have a feeling will continually shift and change over the course of the coming year. I had what I thought were fairly clear ideas when I sent my initial proposal to DARE-DARE and as soon as I started to really contemplate what it would mean… uncannily so much just started slipping away. I say this because I honestly don’t know exactly what’s coming next. I say this too, because I don’t want it to resemble the kind of work pattern/situation/expectation/formula that I have already known – or that I think a project “should” be. As a dream project, it is therefore, a project of the heart. One that I hope will inspire (and allow) me to:
– not necessarily have concrete end goals;
– profoundly connect to a here-and-now;
– engage in a state of open-ended reflection;
– start again and keep starting again.

There’s more I’m sure but that’s all I’ve got for the moment. No wait! I also want to:
– plan and not plan non-active actions (non-actions? non-events?) alone and with others;
– put the occasional link online and share my reflections and findings (readings; events; artists/thinkers/makers/researchers in other fields of inquiry about similar things);
– invite some of those folks (see above) to come and share their ideas in a series of informal encounters between now and next spring;
– and finally… do all these things without taking on too much…(is it possible?) Can I get to a place of doing that becomes…effortless (?) A kind of doing that then moves into un-doing or non-doing…a Doing Nothing.

In this regard: as you can see, I’ve decided to not let conciseness (or self-censorship) lead me. At least for now. So because things might get long-winded, and non-actions are going to likely be fairly spontaneous, I’ve decided to start a new blog dedicated specifically to this undertaking which I invite you to visit at your leisure. Here, along with links to like-minded projects, I will post dates of upcoming (non)actions and informal group discussions. I will also occasionally post my ongoing reflections as the residency evolves. Here and there updates will be sent from the BoV too.

DARE-DARE will also regularly post dates and info for all that is on the horizon.