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.
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.
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.
Inspired by her work with artists across the globe, Taylor created The Consenses Curriculum, which offers educators a unique, multidisciplinary approach to building social-emotional skills through the arts. The curriculum, which can be used in person or via distance learning, includes a supportive professional development program, a step-by step guide with video tutorials and worksheets, and a variety of other powerful teaching tools.
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.
Consenses is led by artist and musician Sally Taylor. 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.