Project Inception: In Response to the 2015 Thematic residency at Utopiana, Geneva: La Bête et l’Adversité | The Beast and Adversity | Nature, Adversity etc.


utopiana yard (fauvism 2)title of theme 1 of 2

The work for À la recherche de certaines récoltes presque perdu will follow directly after several months of explorations of the same theme with a series of public events in August and September 2015.


The following is the initial text of the theme in French followed by a rough translation in English.

(PDF version): La Bête et l’Adversité thematic outline Utopiana 2014 Oct 22


B&A_court 22-10-14_Page_1 B&A_court 22-10-14_Page_2


rough English language translation of October 2015 Utopiana thematic residency


La Bête et l’adversité * The Beast and adversity

Man is the being who, emerging from his distress animal native, moved away from the world to come back as his master. In 1951, Maurice Merleau-Ponty spoke at a conference in Geneva saying,


“Man and adversity,” in which an update state of human sciences and politics in the mid 20th century. The notion of adversity it is used to denote all that natural force or unintended consequences of our actions, ” precluding the achievement of harmony, of the agreement with oneself and with others, but what s’ it opposes without an opponent that can be specifically naming.”


Adversity is irreducible in the sense , especially that we oppose nature. There can be no question of definitively overcome and establish a mode of existence without resistance where humans completely dominate the elements. Yet such an ambition born in the modern era, where Western man has set a role to be “master and owner of nature ” according to the well-known formula of Descartes. Yet, ***instead of permanently protecting people, this project has created new forms of adversity***. This is manifested very clearly today: technical civilization has a catastrophic horizon that is becoming increasingly apparent , with climate change , soil depletion , poisoning of rivers , destruction of human environments , etc. he seems that the dangers of adversity to increase the extent of the power of civilization. The modern belief in the ability to control the forces of nature has two names : humanism and progress. Or certainties from these two notions are no longer any evidence.


As Merleau-Ponty said,

“Progress is not necessary a metaphysical necessity. We can only say that most likely the experience will eventually eliminate the false solutions and emerge deadlocks But at what price, how many detours? Is it even possible in principle that humanity, as a phrase that can not be completed, has failed along the way?”


Consider the end of humanity comes to imagine a failure to progress, and thus to recognize the contingency of the principle of human history. Humanism is in principle the concept of placing people at the centre of the world and assuming that human history has a needed sense since directed by reason. A review of these beliefs is necessary today , but is it possible? Is it possible to act under the horizon of the end of humanity and regard humans as living among the living?


The project “The Beast and adversity” seeks to recover under adversity modern sense of the archaic adversity. The beast is still alive so “Wild” in our forests, but also the beast in us, that is to say, the internal forces that drive us and take us and remind us that our life is not entirely subject to our will. This adversity, men did not imagine to delete past, but they knew that he had to deal with it. The Beast is the depositary of this wisdom, and it is fruitful to ask what would a life inspired by this wisdom. What would the production of knowledge from the perspective of the Beast? How would articulate our relationships with other animals? And more simply, how would form our perception of the world, if we learn to see as the Beast ? Can we, in fact, accept the presence of the beast without domesticating, but without the drive back out of the limits of the human world so far? Only an “aesthetic paradigm” (Felix Guattari) can provide access to these questions. Our relations with the “wild” world are formed by images and representations.

Acknowledging the SENĆOŦEN & HUL’Q’UMI’NUM’ languages in the territory of the main studio of castle grünenfelder ingram, at KEXMIN field station near the south-eastern shore of Salt Spring Island


Our collaborative group acknowledges that much of our work is being conducted in the northern territories of the Saanich or W̱SÁNEĆ First Nations and the Salt Spring Island lands of the Cowichan Tribes, the Shhweenustham ‘u tu Quw’utsun Hwulmuhw. None of these territories on the Gulf Islands have been ceded through treaties.

proper spelling of Saanich peoples

In the efforts of researchers, designers, and artists of contribute to the decolonisation of memory, plant knowledge, experiences of landscapes, and aspirations for permaculture and kinds of sustainable food production, corrections to names and language usage become crucial. This is particularly the case for regions such as Pacific Canada. In the case of the main studio of castle grünenfelder ingram, at KEXMIN field station near the south-eastern shore of Salt Spring Island, two Salish languages overlap, SENĆOŦEN (of the indigenous communities of ‘Saanich‘)[1] and HUL’Q’UMI’NUM’ (of the Cowichan and a number of other communities on the Gulf Islands and on the east coast of Vancouver Island).[2]

proper spelling of Sencoten

Gordon Brent Brochu-Ingram grew up with English, SENĆOŦEN (spoken by neighbours and school friends), Chinook (spoken by his father), and residual French and has witnessed the heroic efforts to revive SENĆOŦEN.[3] But the prospects for re-establishing practical usage of SENĆOŦEN and HUL’Q’UMI’NUM’ are stark.


These graphics are homages to SENĆOŦEN:  the name of the Saanich peoples in SENĆOŦEN, the name of the language itself, and followed by the SENĆOŦEN spelling Tsawout a community that are increasingly asserting their presence at and ownership of the South End of Salt Spring Island.

proper spelling of Tsawout