Consenses is a vehicle for connection, understanding, and peace using art as a lens and a language through which to see ourselves, each other and our world more clearly, compassionately, and expansively.
What is Consenses?
Consenses is an artistic game of “Telephone” using every medium of art as a language through which to grow a broader understanding of the world around us. At Consenses, we believe that the nuances of our individual experiences are lost when we use spoken word alone to express ourselves and that more can be revealed working together than fighting for the validity of our singular and limited beliefs.
There are no right or wrong answers here, just different angles of perspective on a greater Truth.
How It Works:
For the past three years, Consenses’ Founder Sally Taylor, has engaged artists from around the world, of every medium and genre, and brought them together by asking them to interpret one another’s artwork in the vein of a game of “Telephone” and express it in their own medium.
For example: a musician interprets a photograph, a dancer interprets their song, a painter interprets the dance, a perfumer interprets the painting, a poet interprets the perfume and so on until all five senses are represented. In this process, each artist is given seven days to extract the essence of the artwork they are provided and use this work as the catalyst for their own creation, ultimately expressing their raw reactions in the language of their own medium. None of the artists are privy to the identities of the other participants.
This process has formed what Sally has termed Interpretative Chains: a collective, holistic statement; an intriguing procession from one piece to the next; the revealing of a unique glimpse into the artistic process and the complexity of perception.
The Elephant and the Blind Men
An Indian fable describes six blind men who happen upon an elephant standing in the middle of a dusty road. Each man explores a separate section of the animal’s body and independently concludes what the object must be: the first man, holding the elephant’s tail, determines the elephant is a rope; the second man, exploring a leg, decides the elephant must be a tree; the third man, examining an ear, insists the elephant is a fan. The discourse grows contentious as each man grows increasingly righteous of his own perception. It is only when a king appears and suggests the men stop fighting and listen to one another that the elephant’s larger identity emerges.
This fable exposes the dilemma of our individuated human experience. Like the bind men, we are all culprits of the same illusion. Namely, that the tiny section of life we each have the privilege of exploring (via the tools of our five senses) gives us an overarching Truth about the whole.
With the moral of this fable in mind, Sally Taylor set out to create her own elephant for interpretation by “blind men” (artists, in this case) from around the world. Consenses believes more can be revealed by working together than arguing the righteousness of our individual perspectives. It is through collaboration that a greater Truth might be revealed.
Who is Sally Taylor?
Consenses is lead by Sally Taylor, artist and musician www.sallytaylor.com. Taylor formed her own record label in 1998, ambitiously producing and recording three albums as well as touring 180 days a year. When she retired from the road, Taylor moved to Boston and began teaching music at The Berklee School of Music. She is currently working exclusively on Consenses.
Consenses is a global art form and project that unfolds like a game of Telephone across the world.
A musician interprets a photograph, a dancer interprets their song, a painter interprets the dance, a perfumer interprets the painting, a poet interprets the perfume and so on until all five senses are represented.
Each artist extracts the essence of the artwork they are provided and uses it as the catalyst for their own creation. Finally set designers are given the cumulative artwork and asked to create a physical space for the art to live in. Repeating this process 22 times, 150 artists from around the world ended up participating from 22 countries. The resulting exhibition is now showing through the end of 2015. Visitors participate by lending their own artistic interpretations of the work on display. Consenses for its artists as well as for its visitors, builds unity, understanding, compassion and tolerance for others perspectives. For more information please refer to the TED Talk here.