Retreat

Joint Accounts is a series of workshops and weekend-long retreat that explore what work and activity might look like at the end of wage slavery. This exploration takes place through a process of skill-sharing, coeducation, and collective visualization. Joint Accounts is all about envisioning a future that decouples our work from our jobs.

Joint Accounts is free; participants and organizers alike have donated their time according to the principles of a solidarity economy. Joint Accounts takes place at Paul Artspace in Florissant, MO. We welcome you to join us. 

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Food will be provided by Sarah Witt of Bring, a monthly pop-up to create an improvised communal meal and Erica Cunningham sustainable chef, Missouri Healthy Food Americorps member, and creator of a food pantry using excess food from Whole Foods.

Friday:

6-6:30 Concessions Let’s make a toast together and set our intentions for the weekend! We’ll drink wine brewed in the basement of Kater Burch and Rebecca Bart’s home in Clayton, MO. in 2014. It is a Chambourcin red wine brewed with grapes sourced from Murkeytown, IL. Appetizers prepared by Tori Abernathy and Sarah Witt will be sourced from ingredients not good enough for Whole Foods customers, but great for our bellies.
6:30-7 Welcome Meditation An introduction to seated contemplative practice. Turn inward and begin to explore the breath and the quiet mind. Let’s break away from the myths of scarcity and competition that plague us. Let’s focus our energies on the compassion and connectivity that is already within us. Led by Katie Rodgers
7:00-9:00 Stew On This! Dinner served will be provided by chef Sarah Witt. Using left over and excess food, a hearty stew will warm our bellies and souls. Sarah Witt of Bring
7:00-9:00 Introductions & Group Brainstorm Here we will discuss some of the shared intentions we have for the retreat. We will discuss non-violent & equitable communication strategies, multipartiality, and agree on some principles that will guide the weekend’s dialogue. Partially informed by the distributed readings, we will discuss the difference between work & activity, work & jobs, money & value, pleasure & joy. There will be a tour of the grounds and we’ll meet one another. Led by Tori Abernathy & Katie Rodgors and facilitated by Mary Bifulco of Raddix House
9:30-10:30 Stargazing With telescope in hand we will gaze at the moon and identify Castor and Pollux (Gemini). We will use the constellations to identify the cardinal directions at this time of year. Led by Katie Rodgers
10:00 – whenever we are tired Dance Party & Bonfire Warm up by the fire and dance the night away. FREE party hats!  

 

Saturday:

8:30-9 Breakfast
9-9:45 Wake Yo Punk A$$ Up!: Pranayama and Asana Practice to Jumpstart the Mind and Body Wake up the right way! Get your energy flowing, clear out the cobwebs, and gently open up the body and mind. Led by Sergio Buchanan of Urban Breath Yoga
9:45-10:45 Gimme Shelter: Constructing our own Temporary Homes Ever wanted to know how to build a simple outdoor shelter for camping when you don’t have access to a storebought tent? Wouldn’t it be great to know how to fend for ourselves, just in case something happens to the private property system we rely on for our sense of home? We’ll learn different survival shelter formats, practice implementing them on the grounds outside, and discuss the potential of improvisational lifestyles. Led by Katie Rodgers and Tori Abernathy
10:45-11:30 Foraging & Natural Medicine Workshop

The current standard of medical care in the US is laughable.  We are expected to blindly follow medical doctors and spend exorbitant amounts of money on medical care and prescriptions. We are stuck in a healthcare model that ignores underlying causes of illness, choosing instead to treat symptoms with drugs that cause more symptoms.

Learning basic herbal medicine allows us to take responsibility for many of our less serious medical issues, such as colds and flus, basic first aid, and digestive complaints.

In this 45 minute class we will discuss strategies to take responsibility for our own medical care. We will also go over local herbs useful in for the above conditions.  Plant walk if weather permits.

Led by Mel Kasting of Artemis Herbs
11:45 – 12:30 Fermentation Workshop Could we still have delicious food to eat in a world without fossil fueled factories and earth pillaging, soul degrading mines? The answer is an enthusiastic ‘Yes!’ In addition to providing nutritional benefits, fermentation is a human scale food preservation and preparation technique that when mastered enables us to create a wide range of prepared foods with easily accessible non-industrial components. With everything from bread and butter to wine and pickles, the apocalypse doesn’t have to be scary. We will be talking about all these things while we prepare a batch of lacto-fermented pickles. Chris Scheets of Red Fox Baking & Catering
12:30 – 1:00 Lunch Together we will eat bread, pickles, and some other stuff.
1:00 – 1:30 Solidarity Economy 101: A Primer and Group Bulding Workshop A faciltated discussion led by Julia Ho of Solidary Economy STL. An introduction to forms of solidarity economy, solidarity economy in Saint Louis, and an opportunity to explore how to create your own economies in Saint Louis. Led by Julia Ho of Solidarity Economy STL
1:30-2:30 Social Dreaming: Picture yOUR Future

A social dreaming exercise to tap into what Carl Jung called our collective unconscious as a guided meditation to foster creative envisioning for the future of community space, neighborhood interactions,and interpersonal relationships in Saint Louis. This ‘dreamscape’ practice is based on Jungian approach with active imagination and developed from the work of two local art therapists, the late Carol Lark and Shelly Goebl-Parker, MSW.

Led by Eileen Cheong, PLPC, MA-ATR
2:30-3:00 Permaculture  Coming Soon… Led by Ra
3:30-4:30

The Work of Knowing Where (And When) We Are: Critical Spatial History

The embedded historic language of urban space is not always apparent to the public. Sites of memory and past liberation go unmarked, unlabeled, buried, erased or misunderstood. Sometimes the city is urging us to remember, or revolt, but the signs aren’t clear. How can critical spatial history transform the specialized individual labor of decoding place to into accessible collective joy? This workshop explores St. Louis’ geography to offer some possibilities. Led by Michael Allen of The Preservation Research Office
5-5:45 Contact Improv Contact Improvisation is a moving meditation driven by the connection between you and your surroundings. This dance allows you to express yourself and communicate with others without the use of words. You are challenged to make spontaneous choices, as you listen to yourself and those around you with extreme intent. When in contact, you practice trust in your partner to take care of your well-being, as your partner practices trust in you to take care of their well-being. Led by Kelsey Keil
6:00 PM Dinner Bring is a pop-up potluck in the form of an improvised meal pieced together from a cacophony of ingredients. Applying a “stone soup” approach to the traditional potluck, invitees contribute raw ingredients rather than a completed dish, and the bring team furiously crafts a meal while people engage with other activities, works, and most importantly, each other. Sarah Witt
6:30-7:30 Proposal for a Perpetual Parade pt.2 Proposal for a Perpetual Parade (PPP) is a program for a future where public thoroughfares become parade routes. Parade floats become the tents that house a fleet of paraders. These parade participants are the new citizens. Actively, joyously, nomadically, carefully, we extract ourselves from full participation in too-late-capitalism. In this iteration of PPP, we will focus on rethinking the stuff we do everyday. What does the social production of everyday life look like right now and what can it look like tomorrow? Led by Tori Abernathy
8-8:30 Journey to yOUR Utopia: A Guided Visualization Can you imagine a community, neighborhood, town, city, country, and world where you are free to pursue your creative and social passions? What does this look like for you? What does it look like for others? Retreat into your envisioned utopia where freedom is for all. Led by Katie Rodgers
8:30-9 The Future in Motion A playful embodiment activity will help each participant–and the group–temporarily inhabit the future they’ve envisioned. See what it looks like, what does it feel like, how does it smell. Who is there, what are they doing? Let’s make these aspirations real, first just for a few minutes, and then after we’ve felt a sliver if your vision, who knows what else is possible. Led by Mallory Nezam of STL Improv Anywhere
9:15-11 Rising from the Ashes Here we will learn to build a fire from nothing. Widespread use of fire makingbdates back to 50-100 thousand years ago, the earliest evidence of cooked food dates to 1.9 million years ago. Connect back to a practice that gave life and sustained life through cooking, warmth, and land management, As we learn to build fire together, we will discuss our relation to land and the commons. Reflections will follow around the outdoor fireplace. Co-led by Mel Kastings and Katie Rodgers

Sunday:

8:30-9:30 Breakfast and Wake up Communal breakfast. Time to journal, make art, clean-up and pack-up.
10-10:30 Partner Yoga

Practicing together reminds us to let go of the illusion of being able to do everything independently, and reveals the beauty of community. Working with a partner, we’ll move through poses to create a buddy balance system.

Led by Mackenzie Leek
10:30-11:30 Group Therapy: Action Planning It takes a community to build a vision! To actualize our visions, we will brainstorm and chart out potential ways to share our learning with our family, friends, and social networks in St. Louis. A time to celebrate our effort and openess to creating a new future powered by people and their ideas. Co-led by Tori Abernathy & Katie Rodgers
12:00-2 Lunch and Social Time Lunch by Erica Cunningham, a delicious and creative soup to share as we unwind from the weekend. Erica Cunningham & Joint Accounts

 

Through (non)workshops, skill-building, group discussion and therapy, movement exercises, performative lecture, meditation, leisure, and (perhaps most importantly) fun, Joint Accounts explores what we can hope for at the end of market capitalism. Joint Accounts is a collaborative event wherein we learn from and share with one another. How are some people able to ‘follow their dreams’? What are the struggles, doubts, and hardships of doing so?

Joint Accounts is an experiment in a short term micro-community organized around the principles of a solidarity economy. A group of core participants have been asked to donate some aspect of their craft, expertise, pet-project, or artistic practice in exchange for full participation in the retreat experience. Key events are free and open to the public. Reflections and reactions gathered during the weekend will be archived for reference.

Joint Accounts looks towards a present and future based on cooperation, non-work, festivity, and health.

You can read Mallory Nezam’s review of Joint Accounts for Temporary Art Review here.

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