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Duncan’s Heritage

PLANT builds on the heritage of the eco-communities of Raymond Duncan first established in Athens where the Duncan Dance Research Center is located today and where the Duncan family created their first eco-community. Plato's ideas on the indivisible bond between art (techni) and craft (techniki) were the cornerstone of Duncan’s thought on the synthesis of art and life. The major aim of his philosophy was the development of individuals through an energetic and productive process of actions (actionalism). It is a philosophy that promotes the value of labour not for pursuing economic profit but for achieving self-autonomy, social cohesion and well-being within a self-supported economy. The ideals of self-management, self-sufficiency and autonomy as counter forces to the negative consequences of industrialisation, as well as Duncan’s interest in connecting body, labour and production processes place his philosophy and practices among a complex and, often, contradictory range of ideas, movements and practices of the early 20th century, such as the Arts and Craft movement (1880-1920), the utopian communities of Monte Verita and Hellerau. 

Recognizing the great need for a stronger, more effective concept of commons, PLANT attempts to extend Duncan’s heritage to other European countries and to update its scope, through the development of new artistic methodologies and our very own appropriation of his transdisciplinary Akademia.

Starting by investigating the Duncans’ Heritage and by adopting its principles of auto sufficiency, frugal living and care, the project scope is to collectively explore ways of ethically and environmentally sustainable cultural productions and proposes the production of new artworks, which, following the motto of being able to make what you need and to do not need what you cannot make, promote the use of local material and human resources, discovering new ways of reuse and recycle.