Befriending the Creative Unconscious
Five Days at The Omega Institute, August 26 to 30 2018
Suitable for all ages and all skill levels.
Artist and writer Daniel Mack has been researching and teaching about the spiritual importance of creativity. 25 years ago, he talked about the collateral benefits of making furniture from branches:
He has continued to develop creative renewal practices for those seeking, curious, stale, sad and adventurous in his new work, The Casual Alchemist
During this week, Dan presents fresh creative opportunities for people in transition. We use the casual, the accidental and the coincidental, much the way the Surrealists did. For Dan, creativity is not about “art” but about finding ways to keep making our lives meaningful through making objects which allows the objects to emerge as clues, portals, doors to a more meaningful life. In medieval times such things were called “magical decoys” and “divine allurements.” It is a contemporary form of alchemy, the mix of the mundane, the mysterious and the marvelous.
We use common materials, simple tools and a playful, casual spirit. It’s an active, wordless, light trance activity that helps answer the human concern: “In what ways can we become regenerative for our selves, our families and our community?”
Workshop is based on techniques developed by the Surrealists to explore The Unconscious through the act of making and Carl Jung and James Hillman's work in Archetypal Psychology.
The week includes images, videos, playful exercises, a display of such work, discussion and a 8-page Playbook for more Active Imagination play.
Bring some small found natural materials to share and some small personal mementoes from a desk or dresser drawer to possibly include in your projects.
1. Collection of Objects in three forms:
2-D: collages, divination cards and Accordion Books
3-D: assemblages of natural and found materials
A small stool/table
Landscape arrangements of the fleeting, the temporary
Practicing the "good enough"; Experiences with ambiguity, chance, digression, accident and
Before the Course, look through Dan Mack's Website and Pinterest Boards
Daily Centering (Yes, it's a form of Mindfulness)
Prompts to go In, Down, Out and Back to help identify the appropriate work/play of the day
Dan introduces different creative techniques in three areas:
Intuitive Marking, Intuitive Sculpting,
Intuitive Making (see lists below)
Objects made intthese areas can contribute to a larger personal Profile or Grimoire.
You choose which technique or projects to practice.
Dan and the Assistants are there to help.
Activities at the Workshops. All these are derived from the list of techniques used by mid-century Surrealists (**see below)
1. Intuitive Marking on small cards, in accordion books and on large communal murals
Sandwich fresh flowers (like Oxalis) or leaves between 2 pieces of white paper and pound with a hammer .
From Nature and Accident
With mud, ash charcoal, smokeand accidental shapes, stains, spills from coffee, juice, wine.
2. Intuitive sculpture
Simple Selection a 5-minute exercise in seeing, collecting presenting
Emerging Shapes casually rework an egg carton, paperclip, candy wrapper, twist tie;
Bundling/Wrapping Get a few sticks and some string or yarn. See what you can do.
Stone Work shaping, sanding small stones with a pocket knife and sandpaper
Land Arrangements exercises in balance, placement, color, texture, surprise and The Temporary. Make places in bushes, under trees. Debris Fences and Stacking:
3. Intuitive Making. This is slightly more ptactical,
Making Figures with bark,yarn, sticks,wire and squishy mache
Small Natural Form Furniture from sticks and slabs
Gifts Make a gift for someone A necklace, bracelet, amulet?
were artists who explored the Creative Unconscious
with various techniques--made up and borrowed from other older traditions. The purpose was to get to know better the elements of Magic. Magic is simply the name for energies and influences which are less able to be seen and measured. Magic befriends coincidence, accident, chance and distraction as doorways to the Creative.
Names the Surrealists gave to some of their art-making activities...
deep breath, clear mind, just see where the pencil/pen goes
words or letters of a text create a related shape
randomly cut up a text and reassemble in a new way
combining found and created images, text and objects
cut up and reassemble photographs
cut an image into squares and randomly reassemble
flowers or leaves pounded onto paper to create colors and shapes.
"rubbing" over a textured surface and adding to it
Spraypaint a 3-dimensional object as a stencil
dripping a flow of a liquid on paper or canvas
Find Your Surreal Name:
use the letters in your name as an anagram to re-name yourself