A Liminal Place: a reflection on Shen Dojo’s Free Radical event

To celebrate Fall the Avenue for the Arts hosts a community based art show called Free Radical. Now entering the 11th year, Free Radical events feature emerging and cutting edge artists in nontraditional spaces and cultivate conversations. The first night of Free Radical, November 1st is designed will showcase a variety of exhibitions along Avenue for the Arts. To capture these unique expressions a documenter is assigned to each space and on November 8th their reflections will be presented at the UICA.

We asked local artist, Adora Trostle to document the thoughts and process behind the creation of the Free Radical event at Shen Dojo, located on Williams just west of Division.  Shared here, her reflections are both an invitation to participate and an inside look at the concept behind the exhibition.

” During the evening of November 1st we welcome our audience and participants to engage in multiple ways to experience meditation in stillness, passive listening, active participation, looking, seeing, moving, tasting, communicating, sharing and experiencing the “Limitless Space Opening” at Shen Dojo. We’re connecting through Free Radical, a large opening for downtown Grand Rapid’s Avenue for the Arts District on November 1st, 6-10PM. Onward is a more in depth look at the meaning behind these experiences.


A Liminal Place

America, the melting pot of worldviews, is the perfect attempt of our species to eradicate the problem of mass amounts of us becoming sheep. We don’t really understand how fusion with each other is going to work but we can feel it. The chi in our bodies lets us know there is intangible magic coursing behind the currents of visible reality.

It is through breaking down our egos, introducing creativity to monotony, that we are able to confront those who our subconscious views as enemies via this competitive environment. If you fit well with capitalism please know that I am, and possibly this place is, searching for an integration of the capitalist way of being with a non-capitalist way.

In a competitive environment such as capitalism humans are encouraged to put up walls toward each other. Under this schematic a being starts to think with their head rather than their heart. Subconsciously, no human wants to be interacting with others this way but because of psychological habits most of us are at a loss of how to alter the status quo so we function as a unit.

We shouldn’t give up on capitalism. It the smartest way for our present species to organize and yet be comfortable. (Although the Roman Emperor Tasitus did say, “No great or noble act is ever achieved from a state of comfort.) Capitalism is a society of educated people. It may be the easiest way for us to display our individual inner workings yet. The dissonance may be in the number of people who are not yet internally aware enough to be responsible with such a delicate system.

It is the integration of different worldviews, which are grounded in the portion on the brain utilized most predominantly, that is going even out some of the disparity we’ve created.  Our species is developing more and more humans with well rounded brains in an effort to rid us of the chains of oppression power has managed to fasten and lock upon those “less fortunate” since time began.

A place such at Shen Do-Jo and this event are manifestations of our species further reaching toward the goal of a majority of us being individuated.

Individuation is achieved when we are whole. We are whole when our busy minds stop racing and we focus on what internally brings us peace. Music is a major factor in helping us get out of our heads. The rhythms give busy thoughts something to do and really let us focus on what is important. We have invited a musical group to perform for this event. A few Artists will have their work on display. In addition, we are going to possibly blind fold visitors who want to participate while they collaborate on a drawing in attempt to replicate the internal hearing a deaf person might rely upon.”

Refreshments will be provided and there will be $5 ceramic cups available, made by the curator, Kate Lewis, who is also a ceramic artist.

Shen Dojo & the concept for this event helps bridge together multiple artists to provide inspiration and a dynamic environment to communicate and express multiple languages. We’ll take this opportunity to connect with others helping gain peace and unity while exploring different forms of art.”

Adora Trostle is a member of the Avenue for the Arts, she is a maker, writer and documenter.

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