by Nightmare City


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Nightmare City is our collaborative endeavor to inhabit ideological frameworks that question what is possible for the future of humanity.  Our practice is research-driven--we establish parameters and determine the project's scope from those parameters with most projects culminating in performance, video and installation--often intermingled.  We've been invited to begin research and development for our next project THE DELPHIC CULT at Zentrum fur Kunst und Urbanistik a German residency program themed this period to explore the idea of community without reference or attempt to solve current disasters or discuss past and present, structured and informal, radically democratic and non-hierarchical models of community and society.  This environment is ideal--it provides us with both time and access to scholars with specialized knowledge.

Both cults and revolutionary thinking are fueled by rigorous, almost irrational commitment to ideology considered unrealistic in the dominant discourse.  THE DELPHIC CULT focuses on the invention of an underground cult and subsequent conversion of other residency participants in order to examine what is at the heart of systems of belief as well as to unpack a question related to passive display and active dissemination of artworks--how can we push the work outwards from itself, outwards from video space?  What does it take to create a cult?  The ideology of our fabricated cult manifests at the intersection of a radical utopian structure established by Ant Farm, the expansion of "community" to include interspecies communication and the utopian promise of broadcast media, but takes as its point of departure Blue Star: a dolphin-human space-station think-tank developed by an Ant Farm member.  This experiment aimed for dolphins and humans together to imagine a future Earth System conceivable only in zero-gravity; it was a question about a "better way", a concept also central to the development of cult organizations.

Phase one is a month of research: reviewing scholarly texts, documentaries and television programs about cults, utopian impulse, dolphins and Bluestar, contacting individuals who developed these ideas as well as following non-scholastic detours (ie, seance rituals to contact deceased progenitors of these ideas).  We will rigorously document our research using charting, photography, drawing and video.  Phase two is to create an underground cult whose activities and belief system result from the research conducted.  The conversion of our fellow residency-participants will manifest as recorded and live-streamed events such as cult rituals, video-messages to family, and other cult-related gestures.  Ultimately, we aim to create a "total" artwork or "gesamtkunstwerk": a completely interdisciplinary work.  Equal parts documentary, fictionalized-reality, web-based-work and post-production video, THE DELPHIC CULT will manifest as an extravaganza-style installation display of all of the research, documentation, photography and video conducted leading up to the installation's production.

We are asking for $3000 to pay the fees associated with this unique opportunity.  Each participant receives a studio and sleeping quarters, totaling $745 each per month.  If we overfund, we will be able to continue our stay and work at the Center for another month and create individualized cloaks for each cult member.  Thank you for your time and consideration!

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