News & Events
There are still a few spots open for students/fellows during The Order of the Third Bird’s July session at Mildred’s Lane. Interested persons should apply directly to Mildred’s Lane with some alacrity.
Attention Labs with The Order of the Third Bird at Mildred’s Lane, July 9-15, 2012
In an upcoming session at Mildred’s Lane, indiscreet associates of The Order of the Third Bird (including D. Graham Burnett, Jeff Dolven and Sal Randolph) will continue their investigations into experimental protocols of Practical Aesthesis and methods of Sustained Attention. The Attention Lab is part guerrilla seminar and part meditative and kinetic practicum. A discipline of the senses is pursued. Temporary metempsychosis can occur, but must not become permanent. Topics for the session will include attention, inattention, surprise, vigilance, invisibility, ritual, representation, presence and performance. Is a choreography of the gaze possible? Desirable? Positions on these problems (and others) will be solicited, submitted to collective scrutiny, and tested against the available traditions and protocols of the Order.
UPDATE: Associates of the Order will be joined for the week by Jac Mullen representing the editorial committee of ESTAR (currently at work on newly uncovered historical documents related to the origins and activities of the Order), as well as recent Mildred’s Lane Fellows, artists Rory Parks and Helen Miller.
The Order of the Third Bird
There remains some confusion about the history and practices of the body known as The Order of the Third Bird, but evidence points to its having been for some time a network of cell-like groups that engage in ritualized forms of sustained attention to works of art. The canons of secrecy around these activities—their structure and purposes—have traditionally been sufficiently restrictive as to leave some doubt as to whether any individual profession knowledge of the Order could in fact be genuinely associated therewith.
Artist-in-Residence, Helen Miller explores human movement in the context of visual art and literature, most recently pairing formalized sequences from dance and exercise with Beckett’s “Play” and Sappho’s Fragment 16. In support of Bird practice this week, she will lead a series of site-specific movement lessons drawing on the Feldenkrais Method of somatic education.
MILDRED’S LANE is a rustic, 96-acre site deep in the woods of rural northeastern Pennsylvania, in the upper Delaware River Valley, which borders New York state. It is an ongoing collaboration between J. Morgan Puett, Mark Dion, their son Grey Rabbit Puett, and their friends and colleagues. It is a home and an experiment in living. Mildred’s Lane attempts to coevolve a rigorous pedagogical strategy, where a working-living-researching environment has been developed to foster engagement with every aspect of life.
The entire site has become a living museum, or rather – a new contemporary art complex(ity). It is now important to sidestep the debates around what is art ( or design, architecture and fashion) in order to activate these turbulent multiplicities. It is more a question of praxis and action, is it in an institution? Storefront? A gallery? Deep in the woods? At Home?
The Mildred’s Lane site is a home where the Artist/Practitioner, the Student and the Institution have collapsed roles as they attempt to coevolve with an emergent strategy. In conversations with friends and colleagues – who teach and administer theory and practice in a variety of institutions– the frustrations and limitations of conventional, visual art programs and other pedagogies become apparent. However, there is a new excitement to explore alternatives to the way we research-work-live. Mildred’s Lane welcomes this “new age of curiosity” by activating connections that situate themselves at the nexus of science, methods of living, environmental activism, transhistorical and critical artistic practices. This unusual situation affords participants the ability to collaborate in the production of large-scale, socially charged, research- driven projects within a truly transdisciplinary environment. Woven into the project work is a curriculum based on creatively and experimentally living and working together – what we call workstyles. These valuable collaborations are designed to become shared experiences that hope to have transformative and lifelong effects on how artists think of themselves as practitioners functioning in the world.