Cres, Croatia

What is the creative act? : The Sea, Retreat

when 27 August 2017 - 4 September 2017
language English
duration 2 weeks


We dive into the main theme which holds it all together, just as it at the same time puts all in flux. The Sea: taciturn, surging, immanent, open, smooth, with different degrees of depth. Should we not be like this too? Water, salt minerals, rocks that surround it, all affect our skin and the layers of our thought in turn. The sea is physical (a space of swimming, diving, sailing), metaphysical (a source of inspiration from fairytales to the bible), biochemical (the origin of earthly life), and political (a site of travel, immigration, colonization).


We will follow a syllabus, an outline of works by artists, anthropologists, philosophers, writers, evolutionary biologists, and composers, all of which have been intensified by the Sea - a natural and thinking force. Some of the authors we will engage are Reinaldo Arenas, Clarice Lispector, Vilem Flusser, Diderot, Tomasi di Lampedusa, Yukio Mishima, Theophrastus, Curzio Malaparte, Ladislav Klima, Rudolf Steiner, Gyorgy Ligeti, Alejandra Pizarnik, Paul Scheerbart... You don't have to be familiar with any of them; the retreat will be your introduction. The important aspect of these "obscure" authors, outside of the mainstream, is that they redefine our relations to the world by introducing different variables into our life-worlds.

Furthermore, an auxiliary line of inquiry will be the following: what does it mean to become a secret, to be transparent and impenetrable like the Sea? This complex question has political, aesthetic, and personal ramifications. It is encoded here:

'Some people can talk, hide nothing, not lie; they are secret by transparency, as impenetrable as water, in truth incomprehensible. Whereas the others have a secret that is always breached, even though they surround it with a thick wall or elevate it to an infinite form.' ---Deleuze & Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus (1980)

Course leader

Dejan Lukic

Course aim

Creativity is a response to (existential, aesthetic, political) knots. Yet knots are practical too, as every sailor knows. Even the great funambulist (Philippe Petit) uses them to cross the Seas of Air. This school is like a rope - knotted from ideas, encounters, activities - that students have to tangle and disentangle. We learn from the fingers in "Cat's Cradle" and from the jumping in "Double Dutch" games: kinetic solutions to string problems. From there, we extend into string theory.

You will produce a series of multiples - as reactions to discussed themes and experiences of the week - that may include: texts (as writers), sounds (as composers), drawings, images, videos (as artists), dishes (as chefs), performances (as dancers), design proposals (as architects), or concepts (as philosophers). If none of these suits you, you can learn how to swim butterfly or how to do a high-dive with somersault. In any case, you can continue your work after you return from the island and keep up a correspondence with the instructor and other classmates.

Fee info

EUR 0: Deposit to reserve your place in the class.
EUR 0: Second Payment. In total the fee includes:

Course fee
A shared room (double occupancy) in Stanzia Castellani for 8 nights
All meals