What was on your mind during your last retreat?
Barbara Schnetzler: We studied Rudolf Steiner’s lectures “Art as seen in the Light of Mystery Wisdom“ (CW 275), which greatly enhanced our Ascension Conference theme. The conference is now being postponed to Ascension Day 2021 due to the Corona crisis. Rudolf Steiner begins the first lecture by looking at the technical side of artistic work and how to handle it. He emphasises that we as human beings should not turn away from technology. If we reject the technological process, we would in some way try to elude the world and foster the illusion that we free ourselves from Ahriman’s influence. But this is not possible, because Ahriman is always present in every creative process. We should rather find a way to learn how to handle the transformation process. We exchanged our views on this question by discussing examples of different works. Pieter van der Ree contributed to our discussion by showing the architectural design of Arnhem’s central railway station, which was designed using a computer-programmed model. The forms are beautifully organic, almost perfect. But in our conversation the difference in quality, in comparison to a man-made model, became very clear. The Arnhem forms seem too thin, have no inner life and no inner creative power. The supporting columns do not really seem to bear the weight. The living structure does not find its corresponding sequel in the interior.
This raises the question about the creative human being and human needs. This should also be the focus of our conference: how can the arts contribute to the becoming of man? Never before has man been so existentially threatened as in the present. The whole tendency of modern art bears witness to this break in creativity. In the age of transhumanism, we want to illuminate the human being by looking at him through different forms of art with regard to their impact.
Link to the complete interview, which will also appear in an abridged version in the weekly magazine "Das Goetheanum”.