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Dragon, Chronos, Mount Tai, Chronopolitics

DRAGON: Rides on fire. In the west it symbolises evil, while in the east it represents wisdom and power. The dragon is chronicled in the book of imaginary beings, but in China, before he could rise to power, the Emperor first had to climb Mount Tai and learn to speak to the dragons.

CHRONOS: A winged dragon, the embodiment of time.
”Orphic doctrine teaches that in the beginning there was water and mud, with which the earth was shaped. These two principles were taught to be the first: water and earth. From them came the third, a winged dragon, which in its foreparts had the head of a bull, in its hindparts the head of a lion, an in its middle the face of a god; this dragon was named the ‘Unageing Chronos’ and also ‘Herakles’. With him necessity, also known as the inevitable, was born and spread to the boundaries of the universe… Chronos, the dragon, drew from himself a threefold seed: moist Ether, limitless Chaos, and misty Erebus. Under them laid an egg, from which the world was to hatch. The last principle was a god who was man and woman, with golden wings on its back, and bulls’ heads on its sides, and on its head a huge dragon, like all manner of beasts…” Damascius (around 530AD and after): Difficulties and Solutions of First Principles.

MOUNT TAI: Dates from the Cambrian Period, is one of the birthplaces of Chinese culture, and is one of China’s five sacred mountains. The earliest temples on Mount Tai are over 2,000 years old — the oldest trees are around 1,600 years old — though hominids were active on the mountain slopes long before homo sapiens, hundreds of thousands of years ago.

CHRONOPOLITICS: The impact of time perspectives on change and political decision-making. The creation of potential futures with others, in this age.

A question and a proposal

Our time has been called the age of global performance; it has been said that performance and spectatorship define us living at the beginning of 21st century. At the same time we are living in an age of ecological crises, and many researchers consider the extinctions of animal species to be our greatest thread.

How would it be possible to find a way out of the performative society, or at least move to its periphery, and change the meaning of spectatorship?

A proposal: Create a performance with non-human actor(s), or create a performance for a non-human spectator. Other than human, as non-human agents, we mean here beings and processes of “nature”: other animals, plants, phenomena of weather, various durational processes. If you wish to share your experiences, you can do it via the Chronopolitics Facebook page. But public sharing might not be the most meaningful way to approach this issue in the performative societies. You can also contact Maus&Orlovski performance collective by e-mail: Enable JavaScript to view protected content.