The Syncretic Beings Labs

AN EXPERIMENTAL HUMAN RESOURCES FIRM

At least since the working life of philosopher Immanuel Kant (1746-1804), the politics of professions have been criticized as limiting the kind and depth of inquiry in the arts and sciences. Professions are the very means of existence to artists and scientists working within them, the sources from which they negotiate their often fragile forms of dignity. Because of this, a great many in the arts as well as the natural and social sciences are not freely depicting things in the universe, but are instead confined to depicting things in the professional universe.

We all know there is an undeniable difference between things in the universe and things in the professional universe. Things in this “second universe” make up a kind of public secret known by all artists and scientists but rarely talked about by them in public. There are various kinds of “knowing” involved and various kinds of “not talking about” these things. When the secrets of things in the professional universe are “talked about,” it is as their second, all-too-human, necessary, realist reality apart from the actual things making up the universe. This is called “the real world.” On one hand, there are things in the universe and how things should be to best know and change it, and on the other there is “how things really are.” This latter, is the real world artists and scientists need to “suck it up” about and simply accept, no matter how wrong it may turn out to be.
As an experimental human resources firm, the Syncretic beings Labs (SBL) have spent many years immersing certain personnel in as many aspects of “the real world” as possible.
Researchers in SBL’s Mnemonic Beings Lab have used these personnel to study different professionals, including writers, visual artists, psychologists, a prominent scholar on Plato’s Republic, and philosophers of language and knowledge.
Those in its Ancestral Beings Lab and Hallucinatory Beings Lab have used these personnel to work with anthropologists, critical theorists, science and technology studies scholars, and medical scientists.
More recently, its Delusional Beings Lab has employed an embedded experimental researcher to work with politicians, government workers and contractors, and legal professionals.
This collective work led to the discovery and now ongoing exploration of The Ruins of Kindness, a secret world existing in the midst of “the real world,” filled with more real and valuable things than those in the professional universe. 
While SBL certainly was focused on the professional universe, they were also working apart from a small anti-colonial army of those who own this concept. For several years SBL was stranded between uncritical and narrow artistic and scientific approaches, and unending variations on explaining the professional universe. The latter centered on a series of fetish figures called Bataille d’Algiers.
For eleven years SBL employed me to study the State, (the key source of the professional universe) from the inside. During this time, I was applying my earlier years of work learning about African folk healing and related performances, and then learning from and caring for people involved in Alzheimer’s disease. I was doing this in ways that were more empirically valid and separate as possible from the gravity of the professional universe.
Along the way, I ended up discovering the The Ruins of Kindness and subsequently became a chief consultant with SBL. In my new role, I am now helping their labs to give up on the professional universe. I urge you to do the same, even if only in secret, and to join us in learning to navigate The Ruins of Kindness.
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The production work I have participated in at SBL involves a sporadic series of interactions with performers and text. Its directors and performers explore the boundaries of directed performance of scientific research where the content is technical, experimental, done in a short production timeframe, but meant to be produced and directed by others. 
All four syncretic beings labs, each a different “theater,” also experimentally question the boundaries between performers and directors. This can be seen in following experiments:

 

 

Mnemonic Beings Lab Intro  

(Performance Art)

(Director, Writer, Performer)

This is a document containing material for a performance piece.

It adapts themes from work in my earlier work.

 

 Hallucinatory Beings Lab: Steve Taliaferro and Drew Walker 

(Performance Art)

(Director, Writer, Performer)

This is a recording and document containing material for a performance piece.

It works within the framework of my film Masks in the Sun, and game-like adventure Emblem, I.

 

Delusional Beings Lab Intro 

(Performance Art)

(Director, Writer, Performer)

This is a document containing material for a performance piece.

It works within the framework of my film Masks in the Sun, and game-like adventure Emblem, I.

 

 

 Ancestral Beings Lab Intro 

(Performance Art)

(Director, Writer, Performer)

This is a  document containing material for a performance piece first performed in 1995.

It adapts themes from my earlier work.

 

The links below lead to selected materials that have been and can be used to build different performances. Each reflects a different kind of performance developed with SBL:

 

Disimilitary Science Network Materials 

(Performance Art)

(Director, Writer, Performer)

 

 

 

 

 The Project Dyna Soar Investigation Materials  

(Performance Art)

(Writer, Performer)

 

 

 

 

 205, Stately Materials – The Case of Doug Walters  

(Performance Art)

(Writer, Performer)