Society of Molecules (2009)

Society of Molecules (2009)

A distributed International Sense Lab event. >view more responses to the event via Inflexions No. 3 Society of Molecules took place in 15 countries concurrently over a period of one week. The framing problems of the event concerned distributed collective process. How to you convey process without reducing it to the reporting of information? Is it possible to convey the felt quality of experience across distance? How can reciprocal implication in a shared process be activated and enacted at a distance? How do we make ourselves a distributed event? Each of the 15 groups (“molecules”) was challenged to develop their own unique answer to these questions in the form of a local group project addressing political or institutional issues felt to be pressing, and in particular structures or tendencies that militated against collective creative activity. Working together on the SenseLab grouphub, we designed relational techniques to bring the local interventions. “Emissaries” travelled between local groups in advance of the event, to create a web of shared experience among the local groupings. The aim was to create the conditions for a contagion of concepts and techniques between the projects at the level of their process in its incipiency, so that they would begin to resonate in their formative phases, and the effects would continue to be felt after the event. When an emissary arrived (without prior notice) at a given molecule, they were invited into the group to share a “relational soup” (a collaborative exploratory activity). Together, they distilled a “recipe” from the experience. The recipe was brought home with the emissary, who left behind a “process seed.” The process...