Going through life on autopilot. Doing things because it is on your to-do list. Doing them quick and fast to move on to the next day.
And the next day. And the next day. And the next day.
Why slowing down?
It was my aim to create a countermovement against the obsession with productivity. Our society is organized to be as efficient and productive as possible, because of that, the pace in which we live is incredibly fast. This pace seems to be necessary to reach our goal of infinite (economic) growth. However, this fast pace is harmful for human and nature. A climate crisis and a loneliness crisis are the consequences.
Within my project my focus is on the loneliness crisis; I am curious how we can move from feelings of loneliness and alienation to a feeling of connection.
In my research I found activities that can create this new connection through slowing down, these activities I call ‘slowductive’. Examples are maintenance, care, and creativity. What these activities have in common, is that they do not focus on efficiency and quantity, like productivity does. Instead of that they focus on attention and quality. For example, care: You do not take care of someone by doing it as fast and efficient as possible, but by being attentive. And from that place of attention, a new connection can take place.
Manual work is for me the embodiment of ‘slowductive’, because within manual work maintenance, care and creativity all come together. So manual work plays a role in every performance I created for this project.
The repetitive and because of that meditative character of manual work invites you to slow down. In addition, manual work is about repairing something that is old. This simple act automatically goes against the fastness of our society which is mostly focused on producing and consuming new things. In that way manual work gets an activist role that is perfect for the countermovement I aim to create.