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Testimonials

Yrevocnu is an art project, a political movement, a scientific experiment, and, in the broadest possible sense, a romance, all in one. It's not for everybody. In this space, we display testimonials solicited from attendees in response to their first Event.

Collage

This collage was created by at Event 3 as a Testimonial.

Caring reflection on Yrevocnu.

Event 2: alt-Vitae was the first Yrevoncu event of our youngest member, the infant L_____. A testimonial for that event, written by another new member, was written in the form of a letter to L_____.

L_____,

Ten weeks old and you have already encountered a space where adults are trying to create community. I think you will find many more as you grow. There are an abundance of them around us, even if adults and especially metropolitan ones tend to argue otherwise. We only need to look across the blooming field to find children and adults covered in green masks with flowers in their hairs to recognize that we are not the only ones who are interested in a new world order. Why then, you might wonder, do adults continue to walk alone and continue to search? Perhaps it is because community is difficult and large ones especially so.

Much of the difficulty in creating community emerges from the desire to create an order that allows for freedom and unknowing expression. We all love to rebel against structure, yet unfamiliar spirits like to have introductions. Structures like time, a schedule and origin stories provides safety and reference points for those who attempt to merge themselves in community. Yet, once they’re established there is nothing but to resist and disagree. Imposed structure is there for us to challenge, and necessarily so. But perhaps there is value in resisting with love. To thank what came before us as we continue to shape-shift and mold into ever new realities.

This space, which you and I encountered for the very first time, attempted to create platforms for individuals to connect. To give each other the tools and space to express the answers that they already have. Often the bulk of the work of self-actualization is to provide the opportunity. This requires subtle gestures as well as large, practical labor and collective intention. Food shopping, house booking, smiles and whispering of secret tasks to provide another person a platform, a space and room to dance. The organizers who put in the invisible labor are those that are often forgotten in communities. Yet without them, the network and infrastructure that allows for its members to believe in the “effortless” wouldn’t appear and those spaces of effortless vibrations, I think, is the result of a caring community.

L_____, we were looking into each other’s eyes for a while. I don’t know how time makes you feel but it was enough for me to be startled by your vastness. Our two eyes touched and responded to each other’s gestures. We showed how a smile, an open mouth and body fluids is enough to communicate, to find connection. Your soft tummy was bare and moved forcefully, digesting your mother’s milk. L_____, during the time that I have grown up scientists have been fascinated with the brain. I think that will change, the revolution lies in the nervous system. The community must be embodied.

Yet, I wonder, besides from creating new and temporary communities, how can we connect these disparate communities? It might not be necessary to live under one united love which the hippies of the past called for. Instead, defined difference might be our virtue as long as it is accompanied with respect and gratitude. How then do we allow for difference in this potential smart city? How can we emphasize dispute instead of progression? How do we allow our smart city to stay in the trouble as we define our values and determine what to increase and what to reduce. I call for Yrevocnu to broaden its potential and to align itself with communities that are doing work like us, such as the Sanctuary Movement. For L_____, we are in a time of collective uncovery and in that process let’s remind ourselves to sit down together at the same time, share a dinner and express our gratitude towards that which cares.

I am with very strange people.

This anonymous message, left behind at Event 2: alt-Vitae, is our first Testimonial.

I am with very strange people. There is a lot of chaotic energy here. Out of touch. A scaffold, intricate, in the sky. I dislike these people. They feel like people who look into each other’s eyes seeking relief for their anxiety. They feel like a spinning vortex dragging each other in. They exist so much in abstraction that they feel like a figment of my imagination. They seem to be contented with the stories they tell themselves. They speak not to build the conversation, but to open up a new door of absurdity that is less absurd than random, that in its randomness makes it uncommentable and in its obscurity makes it uncommentable, they trump forth their intelligence. They make jokes about genocide and make references to different cultures as if their cynicism and autocracy proves some power, that they distance themselves from wrong doers by making a joke about the wrong doers – and that is as far as they are willing to go.