Last Saturday, I participated in Flow Game. It’s invented by Danish who, I suppose, are involved in the Art of Hosting community. Flow Game is a game to “question your question.” It’s a profound quest for who you are and how you are. Players of the game are asked to ponder deeply and craft a “right-on” question that they can carry with and reflect upon at times. A question that matters not only in the present but also in the future. The question guides you to walk through an unclear path. The question prompts you to take the lead. The question helps you to sit back and take a deep breath.
The game was facilitated by Mary Alice. We worked together in 2011 in Japan. When the triple disasters hit the country, my friends and colleagues got a strong urge to offer space where young doers and leaders came together, expressed out themselves, nurture personal leadership, and build a community. Mary was one of the guest facilitators. One program we did based on her idea is still memorable. All the participants circled around a camp fire and confessed what to take away and what to let go off. We threw away in the fire a piece of paper where what to let go off was written. A powerful initiation that we desperately needed in the mist of abyss.
So. What is my question?
Two things immediately come into my mind: Room hunting (WG) and visa application. These are rather tasks than questions. Practical and superficial in a sense, but very urgent and important, and greatly linked with my intention to live in Berlin. Without such admin procedures, I’m not eligible to stay here in the long term.
To find my question, I keep thinking why I want to live here.
It’s because I want to make my life a piece of art. I believe that everyday life is art work. I don’t professionally paint or make sculptures. I’m neither a musician nor a digital media creator. How I lead a life, how I build relationships with people, how I work, what I say, what I write, how I love,,, all the things are my art. I hope to draw and curve beautiful lines of life.
While living in Japan, I created a profession for myself: Communication Process Designer, simply because I didn’t find any job or position that exactly fit my value systems. (I should write more about the concept and application of Communication Process Designer in another post;)) Basically, CPD is a lens that enables you to grasp all social phenomena in terms of human interaction. Communication is the smallest unit/particle of human activities, whether in family matters, work settings, school, or art scenes. Hence, designing each and every path of communication yields what you do, what you have, and how you are in life.
With the background of Organizational Psychology, my major experiment was to make a new theory of organization (it’s still going on.) The way that human beings flock into a group and form an organization to achieve larger goals and higher purposes. How do we do so? Is the current way working? What is an alternative way? What suits more to my philosophy? For the past four years, with allies, I kneaded my hypotheses and tried out to design multiple communities where new type of organizations (teams) and working styles emerged.
When you think of organization design and individual working styles, you can’t avoid facing the bigger systems such as theories of economics, laws, and polotics. Economics especially drew my attention. Organization studies were tied into economics since most of them started from measuring work efficiency (how to get tasks done) in the industrial fields. Indeed, in the present, majority of “hot” theories around corporate management and organizational development is influenced with “common knowledge” of business. Nevertheless, I kinda left it out and concentrated on purely designing a smaller scale of organizations (team and community) at that time, while always questioning the current economic systems, what worked and what didn’t.
But, time has come to begin a different experiment that allows me to explore even further. The experiment of organization, community, individual life, and socio–cultural-economic systems. My focus is now shifted to life as a whole. Specifically, to set about, I intend to address an alternative way of exchanging money with other stuff in capitalism and rational exchange economy (*I’m not an expert in Economics and might be wrong in using terminology in English…Excuse me!) To simply put, what I’m doing now is to exchange money with love and trust without ROI, obligations, benefits, expectations, promises, etc. The mainstream of usage of money is fine. Good! I have no objection to it. BUT, it’s weird to me that money can be exchanged only in a certain manner. In other words, we can “earn” money (almost) only for what is marketable and profitable in the current economic system. In my opinion, however, money should be able to be circulated into other places thoroughly in the eco-system. Why don’t we equivalently exchange money with love and trust?
I form a group of people who willingly and heartedly give away money to me so that I can live a life in Berlin. They truly want me to be myself, purely express myself. 22 people join so far and collective money reaches to over 2,500,000 JPY. We observe our behaviors and emotions that arouse through the experiment as the givers or the recipient, and discuss it, monitor it, and attempt to understand what the heck we are doing. All we know is that this money is a gift. They trust and love me. I trust and love them.
What will I do with all the money?
I will weave art pieces out of my life.
Because Berlin is known as the city made by its people and has freedom to be how you want to be. The notion of social sculpture has sprouted here. Everybody is part of making up the city by making up own life.
By the way, it’s not me but my friend who came up with an idea that I could be a social sculptor. I’m constantly being re-defined by my folks. Even if I have no clue who I am, the others do, sometimes. And Berlin will surely redefine myself and my community, while we play a role of making the city, we wish!
Also. My question is
How to invite Berlin to support me in fully embodying my life as a piece of art?