All Founding members have been actively involved in the Connective Practice approach or in one of the Social Sculpture Academy hubs in Germany and Holland.
One of the aims of the global Social Sculpture Lab beyond Kassel-21 is to facilitate Social Sculpture Academy hubs and ‘permanent conference’ processes in different parts of the world, in order to enable exchanges about the social sculpture ideas and the connective practice approach. Embryonic groups exist in other parts of Germany, as well as in China, India, Holland, Afghanistan, Australia, UK, Brazil and Italy.
Another aim is to scale out existing connective practices like Earth Forum, which have been used successfully in different countries and contexts, but on a small scale.
The Kassel21 Social Sculpture Lab is one of the first projects of the new global Lab. The global exchanges in the Kassel21 Social Sculpture Lab will help to strengthen and build this growing global community interested in understanding more about social sculpture and connective practice and ways of working with the social sculpture ideas and proposals in practice.
From the Preamble
“The Social Sculpture Lab operates in the field between social art, political education and democratic processes to develop innovative resources and opportunities for informal learning and exchange and to contribute transformative ways in which every person can work as a “social artist” to shape a humane and ecological future”.
“We work together with communities, other non-profit associations and NGOs, local groups, decision-makers and individuals”.
And from the Aims:
The aims of the Social Sculpture Lab are therefore to promote eco-social transformation, by initiating creative research processes and participatory spaces in which diverse worldviews can be engaged with productively to strengthen a sustainable community and make a contribution to shaping a humane and viable society.
1) Contributing to the work of individuals, communities and organisations working toward a sustainable, humane and ecologically just future and, by means of creative strategies to promote connective practice, participation, skills for the future and eco-social awareness
2) Developing an understanding of the eco-social crisis as an opportunity for consciousness and the value of Connective Practice and Social Sculpture within this framework.
3) Enhancing awareness of the inner dimension of sustainability and enable people to experience themselves as agents of personal, social and systemic change.
4) Creating a framework that brings together people and groups from different backgrounds and disciplines, committed to an eco-social future, and by so doing to support eco-social initiatives as well as new forms of education.
5) Developing resources that support and inspire the work of those working for an eco-social future.
6) Developing new knowledge and eco-social practice with the aim of reconnecting people, especially children, with nature, and to help us realign our relationship with ourselves, each other and the planet.
7) Promoting the study, development and dissemination of an artistic and eco-social practice that understands itself as “Social Sculpture and Connecting Practice”, and that helps people to understand the Beuys’ “expanded concept of art” with its “invisible materials”: a viable practice in which every person is understood as an artist and designer of the future.
Essential to this practice is:
a. the participatory exploration and development of new narratives for an eco-social future, that would help to overcome unnecessary suffering and discrimination against all forms of life by developing new skills, attitudes and ways of thinking that can contribute to the shaping of a human and viable future for all.
b. promoting the relationship between freedom and responsibility on an individual, social and systemic level.
c. the exploration, development and promotion of: individual, collective and social educational and transformational processes that strengthen new awareness, social participation and serve the common good; concepts, methods, and research into the value and effectiveness of “Social Sculpture and Connective Practice” and, creative work at the interface between aesthetic and political education –to contribute to realizing the Association’s purpose. Examples of such practice are the formats developed by Shelley Sacks such as Earth Forum, Field of Commitment, Landing Strip for Souls and FRAMETALKS.
(8) The association promotes practice-based research through ‘Enquiry Labs’ on topics such as “I-Consciousness as the basis for the social”; “The future of work”; “Image of the human being and artificial intelligence” and “connective practice in the climate
crisis” as well as working groups, events, trainings, publications, etc. that correspond to the goals of the Social Sculpture Lab.
9) Cooperation: The association welcomes collaborations and cooperation with individuals and institutions, which are active in the field of Social Sculpture and Connective Practice or comparable eco-social initiatives.
The complete preamble and aims of the Founding Document of the Lab is currently in German only.