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What IC Is:

It has been said the environmental crisis is a crisis in human perception.

And art has always been a primary tool societies use to transform perceptions. If this connection makes any sense, then clearly, developing an aesthetic dimension to our relations with nature is a crucial task as we prepare our battered world for generations unborn.

IC was chartered to give artists some of the same access to wilderness and wild animals that our culture usually reserves for field biologists. An artist’s relationship to nature can be very different than a scientist’s.

Biologists operate on the premise of perceiving the world objectively, symbolizing their experience as numbers and objects, doing their best to stand outside and separate, peeking in at nature, albeit observantly, sincerely, wholeheartedly. But to view nature from this outside vantage can also void it of subject. It diminishes intuition and other forms of direct relating.

It has also been said that human beings mostly learn how to perceive.

If so, the lesson most of us learn favors this objective, outside-looking-in perception of nature as the only way to see. It's the way things are, the worldview overwhelmingly promoted by our educational system, the policy that oversees all environmental decision-making. Is it any wonder that current policy mostly regards nature as a synonym for natural resources?

The movement that IC promotes––variously called interspecies music, earth art, neo-shamanism, and vision questing––nudges the perceptual focus in a different direction.

We are promoters of an important trend to relocate the culture’s aesthetic center back to the earth. We interact with animals rather than act upon them, encouraging the co-creative bond as a means to achieve a much-needed balance in nature. We relate to habitat as not only alive, but sentient; not only sentient but sacred; a creative wellspring as much as a place possessed of physical features.

We pay attention to the ancient but largely forgotten premise of esteeming mystery rather than always trying to solve it.

For more info about the philosophy of IC, take a look at a magazine interview with founder, Jim Nollman, that appeared in a recent edition of THE SUN.

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