As promised in a previous post, I now have more information about the community event that we’ll be organizing at Bennington College. We’re calling the event Communitas/structure. The founding idea is based on the anthropological concept of communitas, which refers to a temporary state of liminality, often reached in ritual. It is, in a sense, the climax of community. We’ll be attempting to bring about a “moment in and out of time,” a fleeting sense of intense solidarity. In order to do this, we’ve reserved a space called The Lens and have begun inviting participants to help us design a ritual. Participants would be designing a small ritual (5-25 minutes), with two requirements:
1. People who attend the event, the other participants, must be able to join the ritual.
2. The ritual must deal with one of the themes (see below).
These binaries come from Victor Turner‘s The Ritual Process, where he talks about liminality in rituals. At the event, participants will be positioned all around the space. Over the course of the event, ‘ritual leaders’ will switch in and out. The larger ritual, made up of these smaller rituals, will continually evolve, and those attending the event will be offered an intense and continually evolving experience. Participants will be able to go from ritual to ritual, taking part in various pieces. We’ve talked to musicians, dancers, and other artists. It is going to be a wonderful event. More soon!