maanantai 24. marraskuuta 2008

Sarah Alden 23.11.08

Helsinki Acupuncture

What is Acupuncture?

Treats disharmony in the body,
Blockages (of processes, patterns).

Requires an open state of mind.

Relates to eastern concept of ‘Qi’
(roughly translates as ‘vital energy)

Twelve/fourteen energy meridians in the body,
Each corresponding to an organ,
Internal and external.

Half for ‘yin’
(or Blood, not the same as blood),
Half for ‘yang’
(immaterial ‘Qi’).

The goal is balance.

A small sterile needle is inserted only 3-5 mm for 15-20 minutes.

Only a small ‘twinge’ will be felt by the patient.

What is Urban?

High population and building density,
People and architecture living in close proximity…

Possible to be anonymous in a crowd,
Nearby others,
Feeling far away.

What about an urban narrative?

Inner dialogues,
Thoughts released,
Potential moments,
Caught and missed.

Stories of places,
Characters created,
Within/without time,
Interior/exterior architecture,
Information/emotion associated.

What/where are the energy flows of a city?

Moving people, materials, intentions

Invisible power,
Taken for granted until there is an interruption in the system

(How) Could an artist take a role as an urban acupuncturist?

Take an outside element (material or immaterial) and insert it into the city at key locations to relieve something impeding an energy flow.

Affecting the processes of interaction between people in public places.

Can values be a needle? Expressed by an act?

If you have always had a condition of imbalance, would you even notice it?

For every action there is a reaction (as with giving and receiving).
How to test this on a city scale?

A personal perspective…
My sister’s cat was quite ill, and on medication to help stop his seizures. She tried taking it for acupuncture and it was fairly successful in relieving the negative symptoms of his afflictions, allowing them to cut his drug intake in half. Are cats (and animals in general) good candidates for this ‘alternative’ treatment because they are more open to possible effectiveness, and unbiased towards treatments coming from outside Western medicine? (Where people are more likely to be skeptical of treatments coming from outside the accepted institutions?)

On city/town life…
In the Canadian Maritime region people are surprisingly friendly. They smile at you and say hello, going out of their way to hold the door, and stopping cars in the middle of the block to let pedestrians cross.
I moved there from a big city called Toronto, where from my observations people do not make a habit of acknowledging each other. I was used to this manner of self focused behaviour, not out of disrespect for one another, just as a habit of centering on your own daily life and activities, conserving energy in a way.
However after sometime living in the Maritimes I started to adopt the local custom of making eye contact with strangers I passed, even exchanging greetings, and stopping to hold doors for others. Suddenly I noticed that my journeys were more invigorating and vital, feeling a connection with others, both on our own way somewhere yet with a different destination.

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