On November 4th and 5th at the Rubin Museum of Art, Samadhi Arts will co-present Force of Stillness, a two-day festival bringing together a prominent group of international artists to highlight the significant influence of Buddhism on contemporary art.
The festival will present experimental films and performances that facilitate and transmit a complex range of meditative experiences while addressing topics such as visual colonization, queer performativity, alternate experiences of temporality, and experiments with meditative gestures in public.
On November 5th, Samadhi Arts will also be creating an event Stages of Samatha, an immersive, multimedia installation delving into theBuddhist meditation mode (whose name translates to "calm abiding.") The installation, curated by Harry Einhorn, incorporates contemporary movement forms, a sound environment, interactive audio technology, techniques for meditative practice, and gaming, allowing the audiences to explore the nuances of taming the mind. At the base of the staircase at the Rubin Museum of Art, participants will receive instructional cards featuring the traditional painting "Stages of Samatha," which symbolically depicts the meditative progression as a monk leading an elephant and a monkey on a rainbow road.
Participants will be led down the Rubin Museum's spiral staircase through a series of stations throughout the galleries, which express metaphors for meditative phases as sensory or interactive experiences (sound or sight cues, encounters with performers). The culmination will be a moment of presence on the highest floor, evoked by multiple performers and participants in simple practice. Participants will be led upwards in a loosely linear fashion, but will also be free to experience the performance out of order. The experience will walk the line between structured and non-structured, linear and non-linear, time-based and free, much like the meditative process itself.