Johannes Klabbers

Posted by CLOT Magazine in Key Artists, Thinkers

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Words by the editorial team

 

Johannes Klabbers is an Australian writer and posthumanist therapist living and working in The Netherlands. This year, he served as the ‘resident therapist’ at Unsound Krákow Festival 2016 (Poland), which, to our knowledge, is world-first for a festival. Under the subject Dislocation, Klabbers presented a talk titled How Can a Posthumanist Be? recalling the method developed by John Cage in 1958 for his seminal piece Indeterminacy.

CLOT Magazine had the pleasure to talk to him during Unsound Krakòw to learn how quantum physics influenced his practice and help define what describes a posthumanist therapist, or whether posthumanism is a dislocation .

 

Humans are obsessed with themselves and we often think we are ‘the most important thing in the universe’ but where do we go when we die? Death complicates our traditional thinking patterns because death symbolises the idea of nothing.

Posthumanist therapy is a post-rational anti-method that takes ideas from quantum physics, new materialism, and narrative therapy. It finds itself  ‘between existing and non-existing, between something and nothing, between being and not being, between doing and not doing’

 

Johannes most recent book I am Here (2016) sheds light on the process of death and dying. By listening and talking to individuals who are dying of cancer, life and death we can come to a deeper understanding of death while also help people cope with suffering.

 

 

Website: www.johannesk.com
Twitter:  @johklab
‘I Am Here: Stories from a Cancer Ward’ is published by Scribe (UK and Australia)
(Photos courtesy of the artist)

 

This podcast was produced by CLOT Magazine and Stephen Mclaughlin (www.straightola.com) for Unsound Festival (www.unsound.pl) in collaboration with OFF Radio Krakow (www.off.radiokrakow.pl). Piotr Figiel kindly shared the glacial remix that he produced from Johannes performance at  Unsound Krakow 2016.  Thanks to Casey Ankers for transcribing the interviews, which have been slightly edited for clarity. Johannes will be resident therapist at the Normal? festival in Folkestone (UK) in May 2017.

 

Transcription:
M: Hello and welcome to CLOT Magazine inaugural podcast. For those who don’t know us, we are a publication dedicated to the emerging three areas Art, Science and Technology. With this podcast, we would like to introduce our audience to conversations with artists and intellectuals about exploring these new frontiers.
We are going to begin with a series from Unsound Festival that we’ve produced in collaboration with Krakow’s OFF radio station. In it, we will cover some artists of this edition and also topics that are relevant to our universe.
In our first program, we’re going to introduce you to the work of Johannes Klabbers. Johannes is an Australian writer and developer of the intriguing discipline of post-human therapy that we will uncover later. During Unsound Johannes acted as resident therapist for the festival and he also presented an improvised spoken word performance based on his research and using a method developed by John Cage.
[ performance audio ] M: In his newest book ‘I am Here’ he unfolds the genesis of his theory that originated during several years working with the terminally ill. We caught up with him during the festival and we talked about how quantum physics influences his theory and what a posthumanist therapist actually is and can do.
J: That’s the thing when you’re working individually with people, and you actually go into these questions and talk them through, take them all the way, as long as it takes.
M: How do you focus these sessions, it’s like it starts with like a question from –
J: What are you? Well if they want that I give them that, but often people come in with something that they want to talk about. ‘I have a problem with self-esteem’ okay so let’s think about what that actually means. Self-esteem, that’s about the self and about being something, so you work through those things and then you get to ‘what would it be like if you were nothing?’ ‘What would it be like if you imagined yourself in the vast spaces of the universe as an electron, just floating?’ Anything is possible but some people do have a problem that they want to work with. They’ve tried other kinds of therapies and found them not useful. Because they start from a model of dysfunction which is located in that individual, and (the idea that) I’m an expert and you’re an individual that’s dysfunctional and I’m going to help you become more functional.
M: Could you tell us about what this posthumanist therapy is or consists of?
J: Well it’s just something I made up! I studied psychology, I studied narrative therapy and I studied reality therapy, and I investigated informally other therapies and underwent therapy. Then I worked with people who have cancer, which is my book I am Here, I worked (for) three years with people who are dying and I started thinking how to work with people (who are not ill), the work that I did with the dying, whether it would be possible to do that in a context with people that are not dying. Then I thought, well what’s the problem here? Nietzsche (said) “god is dead”, Foucault said “Man is dead.” What does that mean? Then that sort of builds to an intersection with New Materialism and all the work that is being done by, particularly I think the women theorists, who are much more interesting than the men. I think women do much more interesting theory than men. I think men should just give up, shut up and I probably should as well. But when you have Karen Barad who’s just doing the most incredible work, she understands quantum physics, she’s a quantum physicist, but she teaches philosophy and her books are just mind boggling. Then you have Jane Bennett who is doing the work more poetically, with looking at enchantment.
M: What do you think of Lyn Margulis, that also initiated the Gaia theory, Lyn Margulis was a scientist she did the Gaia theory – we are all part of, like earth and humans – more from the biology point of view.
J: Right, yeah interesting!
M: I’m not a biologist, so I think it’s a little bit on that train(?) and maybe it comes from that idea as well like Foucault killed a man, and then all these theories that put us more in touch with either the universe or the earth. And also – really wanted to know what it’s like, the influence of quantum physics in your theory?
J: Well it’s absolutely essential, as I try to get to at the end of my talk, the idea of the super position, the idea that we have this entire culture based on the idea of binaries, not this but that. And then you get quantum objects which can exist in between being and not being. And what I was saying as well is the idea that we are actually constituted by things that are in-between existing and not existing. How did we suddenly decide that we exist? That discrepancy seems very odd to me. So yeah quantum – and Barad’s work in particular, the idea of we don’t have any agency. Nothing that we actually do is really meaningful, there are only our interactions, what Barad calls intra-actions between what she calls actants.
M: Do you think genetics predetermines us to be humanists or self-centred?
J: That’s such a scientistic – and I apologise –
M: Yeah. No, no no it’s fine.
J: – to me that’s such a scientistic kind of approach, that top-down kind of looking, oh yeah well there you go, that’s that. And so the mechanics of that idea that there is no such thing as a free will because everything is predetermined by how we’re programmed biologically, that to me –
M: That’s something that, being a scientist it creates maybe a little bit of, not like anxiety but like, philosophical anxiety – because now there’s like a gene, a gene for everything, for like violence and everything, I don’t want to live in a – like this, the supremacy of the genetics.
J: No. But this is also just about statistics isn’t it –
M: Yes, yeah.
J: We just look at – oh well all the people that have got the R67 whatever, 87% of those get breast cancer. So that to me is not interesting. To me it is much more interesting – and I think that dissolves as soon as you realise that you are nothing and you can let go of that, if you get cancer then you get cancer and that’s kind of interesting. That’s not to say that it’s not sad, that it’s not a huge, huge sad, I think everyone ought to be sad, all the time. Really. If you’re not sad then there’s a problem, really. I mean I basically, I’m just sad. There are just little spaces like this and we’re having a nice talk together, mmm and you know…
M: I was talking with some friends the other day and he’s like what do you feel like, are you depressed – my friend was telling me you usually are quite okay like – yeah like I mean I’m not anxious, I’m not depressed but I’m terribly sad sometimes. But it is beautiful, I like it. I like it.
J: Right. Yes, yeah exactly, it is real, there is nothing more real, really, than to mourn and to be sad about loss. I think that’s absolutely right. And it connects us, that sadness connects us. It’s very human, to be sad.
M: My question also with the genetics, was more into this kind of survival drive, like the human species has, that makes us very humanist in terms of being self centred, and then how could a posthumanist therapy help us to overcome these (?sorry) sometimes these are just for survival of the species, does it go beyond this like –
J: I think the survival of the species is entirely – if we decided as a human species, if it was somehow possible for us as a human species to decide to allow ourselves to become extinct, I think that would be marvellous, like just speculating on that we automatically assume that it must be a bad thing because there would be no humans. But the only people that would mourn the absence of humans would be humans, there wouldn’t be a single animal, there wouldn’t be a tree or a rock or a lake or a river that would spend one millisecond mourning the absence of humans. And so if all the humans disappeared I think, if they were capable of being relieved, the animals and the trees and the rivers would be immensely relieved that we had finally left them alone.
M: Probably, yep. Now moving onto a couple of things I said at the beginning, and even though it’s not something that your work directly with, but what are your thoughts on trans-humanism? And trans-humanism as in being this movement, to develop and make available technologies to enhance human capacities in order to achieve a post human future. A better future, in which a few things like humans are more connected, but in the end for me that position is the most humanist position, ever, and it is like a self contradiction. I’ve always wanted to see your thoughts on that?
J: Right, yeah. I totally agree, I think that idea that some people want to extend life beyond 130 years, they want to live longer. Why?
M: Why?
J: To enjoy the money that they’ve amassed? Because they will all be rich people. That kind of technology is very much about who has the money and who doesn’t, isn’t it? Even in just simply having your gene – what do they call it, gene picture, when you get all your genes, to see whether you’ve got the gene for this –
M: A genotype(?)
J: …which is again the privilege of (the rich), meanwhile the other half of the human beings in the world don’t have enough to eat. That seems to me so elitist, it’s like we’re making this pyramid more and more – and we’re all trying to get up the top of that pyramid and we all want to be there and we all want to get there and we all want to live longer, be better able to think, be more beautiful, have a six pack. All of those things are so absurd to me. But we don’t know how to live, we don’t know how not to be cruel, we don’t know how not to perpetuate suffering in our world even though we have the capacity to do so. That’s absurd, I think.
M: It is. So why did you choose this particular type of performance?
J: Cage came up with this when he was asked to speak somewhere. He came up with this idea that he could speak on 12 topics I think it was, or 10 topics, at random, drawn from – he had them written on index cards and then it would be recorded. In those days it was all analogue because there was no digital technology, and so it was being all done analogue and mixed live. But in exactly the ways it was done here, so that you end up with all these layers of voices and the repetition of the voices and all the meanings of everything that’s being said are kind of pushing against everything else and it becomes a very… I don’t know, you see I haven’t sat in the audience and listened to it, I’d love to hear someone else do it because I don’t really know what it sounds like if someone else is doing it. But the idea is that everything that you say is said again, kind of, over and over and over again. So it’s – I don’t know if it works.
M: I think then it becomes of another medium, I suppose.
J: Yeah that’s right, and you’re reminded of… when you give a linear talk and you say this, this, this, this and this and then you say, what was it you said there, and so fragments come back as you’re listening to what I’m saying now, what I said half an hour ago is floating across – but my friend who’s a theatre director who saw my performance in Wagga said “You should be on a stage, you should have one single spotlight on you, the room should be in complete darkness and you should be out the front.”
M: I guess your experience would be very, very different from what we heard here.
J: Very different, very different. I think I want to try it, do it that way, just as an experiment. I don’t know – what is the best way to tell people that they are nothing, that they don’t exist?
M: I think that – I guess like darkness –
J: Darkness is better?
M: I think so, I would say so.
J: – and run screaming out of the room.
M: Because it makes you detach just a little bit from things like – just like the spot on you saying you’re nothing and everything matters.
J: Yes. I’d like to try it. I actually did it in Wagga Wagga which is where Mat Schulz, who is the director, the artistic director of the festival comes from and we know each other from Wagga. And I did it in Wagga and it was quite a different performance there were only 15 people in the room but huge speakers and an enormous amount of feedback and all the loops that were playing in the background were feeding back. It became almost impossible to stay in the room, it was so loud. And as I was talking about how urgent these issues are it became more and more difficult for the people to kind of – whereas in here it was just so – it couldn’t be more different today, it was so civilised. Apart from the fact that it seemed very hot to me, it was like everyone was very politely listening and the mix was very polite and – in Wagga I was working with a sound guy who I had worked with over many years and he knows exactly what we’re doing and he likes taking risks, whereas this was very safe and very clinical almost, it felt like I was talking at a hospital, to the patients.
M: We always end our interviews with a couple of Proustian questions, just like we think it helps know a bit more about the person behind those ideas, or art or practices. What would be your – what’s your chief enemy of creativity?
J: Enemy?
M: Yep.
J: I would say ‘ambition’. I mean I taught visual arts for 20 years, so I taught people and I would say to them what are you doing? What is it that you want? And they want people to see their work, they want to have an exhibition, they want – and then they get an exhibition and then no one comes, or two people come. And they go, oh that was very disappointing. And you say, well you had an exhibition, you made a wonderful work – often not. But what you actually learnt was that what you want is an audience. Why do you want an audience? What is it that you do that’s so interesting that you think it deserves people – and so then I think creativity – without really knowing what it is, but I mean it dries up, people become – they start producing certain kinds of things because they think that that’s what their imagined audience wants, and they’re no longer making things that they themselves want to make. So I would say ambition but of course money, which is very closely related to that.
M: Yes, very much. You couldn’t live without?
J: Peanut butter? That is a really tough one. I mean in principle I would probably like to think that there is nothing that I couldn’t live without. I have a very important person in my life who, we’ve been together a long time and I would probably think that maybe a romantic thing to say would be I couldn’t live without her, but if she wasn’t there anymore or she… I think I would find a way to continue somehow. So that’s – I don’t know whether that goes some way to –
M: I think like nothing – (?sorry) were telling us before?
J: Yeah well I think nothing is probably –
M: As in like Linda Moore like philosophical sense of nothing?
J: Yeah, it sounds very cold though, doesn’t it?
M: Yeah. And this last one, what would be your image of this location as one for the festival?
J: I think’s it’s so fascinating that it’s here in Poland, which is – when Mat (Schulz) told me that it was going to be this location, I mean both in terms of people that have moved from here, I don’t know how many millions of Poles are not in Poland, they’re in England and they are wherever. They are often in places (where) it seems that that people don’t want them. Ands then Krakow also seems to be a place that attracts a lot of people from elsewhere, perhaps not in the same way or to the same extent as Berlin or Prague or Amsterdam but still, there are people that are attracted to this place. And so yeah there’s a very interesting kind of, on the one hand, absence of people who’ve been dislocated and the presence of people who’ve been dislocated but to Krakow. So it’s interesting to me that there is this festival and people come here from all over and are very willing it seems to be exposed to some quite radical ideas.
M: The thrill of radical ideas.
J: Yes, yes, absolutely.
——-
M: A week after the festival we caught up again with Johannes over a Skype chat to see how these one-to-one sessions had developed and also his take on what he had learnt from them.
J: From a personal kind of point of view what I wasn’t really anticipating although I should have was how totally exhausting the process would be. So I was doing three or four sessions a day with people, usually an hour and a half, sometimes longer. And about half-way through the process I was talking to one of the performers and they were telling me about their gig, and I was thinking, I’m doing thirteen individual performances, interactions, individual performances. And yeah it was quite weird. And I felt quite disconnected from the festival, as well.
M: I guess if you keep busy doing that you’re not that much part of it.
J: No, that’s right. And so then – and reading the reviews afterwards, and talking to a few people afterwards, it sounded really amazing, and I was like, there but I wasn’t there. So that was kind of weird. So I did thirteen sessions and a couple of them were with couples, and working with couples is great but it’s even more intense because you’re dealing with two individual people and then also the dynamics between those people.
M: Yes, an interaction – like – into something else.
J: Yeah, yeah.
M: Almost three or four.
J: But look I mean what was really amazing about it was that there were so many people that were interested. I had not anticipated that. There was a waiting list of twenty people hoping that someone would drop out so that they could have a session.
M: Do you think that that is a reflection of a need of like, just talking to someone or just finding something else?
J: Well there’s a couple of things, one is that – and a number of people told me that, they would never have therapy, they would never have thought of having therapy but because it was offered as part of the festival and they were at the festival anyway, and because I guess that they trust me, as a person, being appointed by Unsound as the –
M: Something closer not so – to your way of –
J: Yeah, yeah, so I’m not some random guy. And then of course it’s free. I always work for free and then I invite donations if people can afford it and they want to, whatever, here’s my webpage for donations, but it’s not – I don’t want to talk about or think about money or money influencing (it). I mean I’m not just a posthumanist, I’m a post-capitalist, right? So I think that if we value something that we will pay for it, and we will pay for it according to what we can afford etc. But yeah that step of actually ringing someone up or emailing them and then as a therapist and then being, engaging in the process of therapy, it’s a big step for people. That’s the beautiful thing about the festival, we’re here for the festival, this is a festival activity, I’m just going to go along and see what it’s like. And then there’s the posthumanist angle which I think for a lot of people was really interesting. They’ve heard of posthumanist therapy they don’t know what not involves but they’re interested in posthumanism however they understand it. So some people came along and they just really wanted to argue about posthumanism, I must say.
M: There’s always that kind of… like these – the same as in talks or like when you go like speak somewhere there’s always that person who just like – just wants a confrontation, or like the provoking.
J: Yeah. But yeah and there were some people who just wanted therapy and they didn’t care whether it was posthumanist or what it was. I drew on a lot of stuff that was just straight therapy that I’ve done with people in the past. So yeah, interesting.
M: What other things strike you the most from those sessions? The kind of needs the person had, were they things that you would expect or they were coming up with things that you like – because of like the people at that festival maybe have particularities that other people doesn’t have. Or their questions because it’s like completely – because we’re in like – maybe it’s more that – maybe more people, like as you were saying, it’s more equal to your city? Did you find differences with that, with other – with like the usual locations or?
J: Well because the way that I work is not authoritarian in any way, it’s collaborative, and the way I see it is, we’re just two people together in a room, or three people whatever in a room, we’re having a conversation. And I mean I’ve had some experience in doing this before and I’ve had some training and I’ve got some ideas, but it’s not – it’s a collaborative approach, it’s not me telling you what you should do. It’s not a top down approach. And so some people I think that they just wanted my advice. And this always happens, somebody is looking for somebody to advise them on things and then my approach is, well let’s talk this through together and see what ideas we come up with. And then sometimes I will say what I think about it. For example there was a couple there and they were – there was obviously some tension but when they came in I said “Are you here to do therapy or did you just want to have a conversation about posthumanism?”, which is after a few sessions I realised that was a good thing to ask – and he said “oh no we’re just here to have a conversation about posthumanism”, I mentioned some theorists and they said, oh they’re interesting. But I made a mistake because I didn’t check with her. I just assumed that he was speaking for both of them. What I should have done was said to her, well are you good with this? So it’s a kind of a beginners mistake which I kind of regret, but towards the end we’d done about probably three quarters of an hour, I said “so how do you think this is going? we’re talking about Karen Barad and object oriented ontology and all this kind of good stuff, interesting stuff but she was looking a bit annoyed. And so I said (to her), how’s it going for you? and she said, yeah I’m a bit annoyed because I was thinking we were here to do therapy. And I said, oh okay, we can do therapy if you want. And so then we started doing therapy, she had a lot of stuff about the relationship that she wanted to air. And so we did this whole session and –
M: Was he pleased with the idea that she had so many things to air?
J: No, no.
M: Especially because of the way – no no I’m here just for posthumanism?
J: Well yeah, I mean he went along with it. That was a really interesting kind of development that… normally if a couple comes to see me I wouldn’t obviously say, are you just here for a conversation about posthumanism. But because of the festival this had happened a couple of times. So that was interesting. And then I mean there was one person there and I thought this is a performance artist, there was a part of me that was thinking, this is a performance artist who’s come along as a kind of, like a Sophie Calle type of performance. She’s come along with this persona and it was a really weird – I mean I don’t know, this was quite close towards the end I don’t know whether my brain was kind of starting to dissolve. But I thought, wow she is like either a really troubled person or she was just – it was a performance. And I couldn’t work it out and she made a number of references to David Lynch throughout, like she kept on looking around and I said, what are you looking at and she was like, I feel like I’m on the set of a David Lynch movie. I was like okay,is she going to start talking backwards?
M: Yeah, the red room.
J: It was quite disconcerting and she had – I actually said, what made you write to me and ask for an appointment and she said, it wasn’t me it was a friend. So okay, so do you actually want to be here? Oh yeah, yeah yeah yeah. But yeah there was some really – there were a couple of people who I felt like they had really discovered something crucial about themselves, and about how they are in the world as a result of the session, and a couple have been in contact with me afterwards –
M: Yes I wanted to ask you if you got feedback from any of your sessions, or kept contact –
J: Yes so I wrote to everyone and asked them to write to Unsound if they found it useful, and let them know. I mean at the time I thought I will never do this again but of course now I’m rested and I think if they invited me again I’d be delighted. But yeah a couple of people wrote to me afterwards and one in particular, I met up with again just for a coffee, a couple of days before the end of the festival just to touch base and she felt really significantly (changed) – because it’s very compressed, normally I would work with people over time, but –
M: So you changed your method for – particularly for the festival?
J: I don’t really have a method –
M: Okay, or your – do you have a certain regularity in the way you do or not even that? Not even that – structure, like structure, you have a certain structure for your sessions?
J: I think I took more risks, I think I took more risks than I would normally do. I’m normally quite cautious and think let’s play it safe, I’ll say to the person, well it would be good if I could see you again next week, or something like that. But now – I knew that probably wasn’t going to happen probably so I think I took a couple of risks. I told one couple that they were probably in the process of breaking up.
M: That’s brave. But well maybe not – I guess you felt that that’s maybe what they needed to hear.
J: I don’t think I would have done that if I was seeing them again next week. I might have said it next week or the week after or something, but I would have allowed myself to have more time to form an opinion about it. But in that case it just seemed like maybe that’s what they were there for, this was actually just about that possibility. So to answer your question I think I did – I took more risks, I was more bold and also prepared to just go oh well, I’ll say this and see what happens.
M: Kind of a little experiment, not like experiment just like a different – a completely different setup.
J: Yeah different setup. And perhaps also I’m influenced by the idea that maybe because they’re at Unsound they’re not very conventional people.
M: Do you think you can – you could push boundaries a little bit more with them, with these – the patients or like the people?
J: Yeah for sure I think that. Because we were at Unsound and as part of Unsound I think I could – I came to that conclusion over the days of the festival, that perhaps these are people that are prepared to, one person wanted to talk about using psychedelic drugs in order to effect personal change, psychedelics as a –
M: Well all these trends these days are all like the microdoses of LSD and even for like performance enhancement – they even say that in Silicon Valley they take these microdoses of LSD to just well, enlighten. I can’t remember what –
J: Yeah yeah yeah –
M: – there’s been a few articles in –
J: – , so. So we talked about that and that doesn’t normally happen. I think if I had some interesting drugs there that I could have offered to people as part of the session that there would have been these two or three people –
M: Yes, like yeah yeah –
J: – let’s take some MDMA. Maybe an idea for next year.
M: Yeah maybe. Any experience that really like upset you or like – well apart from that girl that you were saying, the performance, that was the girl, the one that struck you the most, I don’t know sometimes things just like really upset you inside?
J: I spent three years working with people who are dying, so that I’m pretty robust. I think probably what – if there was something that, a negative feeling, (it) would be that there were (-)was) one person probably who wasn’t really taking it seriously and it was kind of like an entertainment for them, they were entertaining themselves. Maybe a couple. And I sort of felt like, this is a waste of my time. It felt like I was at a party but I couldn’t get away from the person.
M: Like they wouldn’t stop talking to you, like I’m cornered. It is like when someone doesn’t take seriously your profession or what you do or your job or something, you’re trying to – I think like it’s just not a very nice feeling.
J: Yeah. And when you’re doing it for free, like, if people are paying you –
M: Yeah okay, yeah, I can be your clown.
J: – less likely to happen, right. But also because there was twenty people on the waiting list, and really my decisions about who to give a session to it was pretty random. I mean I would ask people what’s your interest, can you tell me something about yourself in the email prior to the festival. But yes, in the end, I was thinking, oh wow that there may be somebody who was really in need, somebody actually… there were a few people there who really needed someone to listen to them. So yeah when you have people like that you feel a little bit like, that’s a shame that you’re taking my time when –
M: More or less like it’s part of the universe, there’s always people who are sceptical then they’re going to criticise that, or you can have positive criticism or completely like negative reviews. Are you going to write anything for this experience for the festival or just –
J: Um yeah I think I would like to. I mean in terms of developing something that I’m calling posthumanist therapy, it’s really useful and I’m certainly thinking about that and thinking about how to explain what I do and why I think it’s important. Not just for personal change but also because I think, as I said in my talk, I think the world is broken, humanity as a whole is broken. And we need to find a way to fix it, if we’re going to carry on occupying the planet. And so, therefore, I think potentially posthumanist therapy could be a really useful and important contribution to that. So certainly it’s helped me enormously to have this intense period with people who are ready to think a little bit differently about things, and working with them and that will find its way into another book at some point. It’s really an out there decision by the festival to decide they’re going to have a resident therapist at the festival. It’s interesting when you think of the word curating, I was reading somewhere the other day that the word actually comes from the Latin word for care, which I didn’t know. Curate is – yeah I don’t know maybe in Spanish it’s similar?
M: Curatus is heal in Spanish, it’s heal more than care, curatus is heal.
J: Okay. So how interesting that there are all these people who call themselves curators but do they actually think about that aspect of curating?
M: Yeah which is much nicer, more gentle –
J: So it’s kind of perfect really. I think every festival should have a resident therapist. Partly because of that thing that I said at the beginning, that people are prepared to go and see a therapist at a festival because it’s part of a festival and the therapist is known to the curators of the festival and it’s free and so why not? I can imagine sitting in a little tent, off to the side, and somebody’s all of a sudden having a problem, maybe they’re even having a bad trip or something. Oh I’ll go and see the therapist. It’s like medicalising. I mean, I can talk somebody down no problem. But what do they have at a normal festival, like a St. John’s ambulance guy but I don’t know what they do with people that are suffering from existential crises. So yeah I don’t know whether this may be the beginning of a thing.
M: Yeah, maybe.
[ performance audio ]
applause
M: Thanks so much for listening to us, we hope you enjoy it. For the next one we will have (NAME?) talking about posthumanism but from a completely different angle. Till then.
06 Jan 2017