Perfect Lives seeks collaborators!

Perfect Lives (located in Tori vald, Estonia) seeks independent, critically minded Luddites, creative practitioners, square pegs, tech critics, rabble-rousers, and other inquisitive minds!

What is Perfect Lives?

It is nothing, yet, besides a name that has been given to a former train station in the Estonian countryside by its new owner.

Perfect Lives, it is hoped, will be a locus for critical thought, creative energies, and heterodox projects; a gathering point both physical and virtual.

It is also intended to be fun.

Where is Perfect Lives?

The building is located in southwestern Estonia, approximately 25km from the small city of Pärnu (and approximately 2,5 hours from Riga, 2 hours from Tartu, and 2 hours from Tallinn).

What can happen there?

At this early stage before anything has started, we can only suggest some examples of possible activities that could take place here. But this is not to be prescriptive; the collaborators we seek are ones who will bring their own ideas and energies, and take full co-ownership of the project.

A focus on critical technology studies should be central, and activities that experiment with format, structure, hierarchy, and roles are preferred. Knowledge-sharing and participation-based experiences are ideal, but a truly experimental platform should celebrate exceptions, not rules. But the differing backgrounds and interests of future collaborators will shape the projects that will unfold here.

With the current 'staff' being just one person at the moment, all that can be said for sure are their interests, which may or may not find expression as public events or projects: Luddism, political economy, platform cooperativism, fiction and literature, experimental music, food and ecology. What sorts of things could we do together?

Due to the remote location of Perfect Lives, it is very much hoped that some sort of hybrid physical/online programme can be developed, specifically offering a grassroots, non-institutional approach to technology studies. As a playful tagline: 'What if Black Mountain College taught Javascript?'

Please note: The building, while a former train station, is not tremendously large, and currently only the ground floor has been renovated.

What is it not?

Perfect Lives, whatever may happen, will NOT be:

Who are we looking for?

This call for collaborators is not looking for participants or subjects, but (at this stage) longer-term, committed people who are interested in building something from the ground up and shaping the long-term direction of this project.

As we are not offering funding, a salary, or anything remunerative, we realise this is not necessarily an attractive offer, and furthermore it is not going to be possible for many people, especially those at advanced stages of careers and/or families.

However, we hope that Perfect Lives will still be taken seriously, and we likewise do not have any criteria as to your professional or educational qualifications, age, background, etc. We are looking for people who are passionate, who would like to come here at least somewhat regularly, and who have great, unconventional ideas about culture activities, social practice, and technology. We are especially excited to work with diverse voices from outside the dominant demographics of the cultural and tech fields.

We can only offer space, as much as there is (which is dependent on ongoing renovations), and our own enthusiasm for provocative ideas and the desire to live one's life a bit differently: critically, creatively, and together.

Why is it called Perfect Lives?

The reference is to the wonderful Robert Ashley opera, about which John Cage once said: 'What about the Bible? And the Koran? It doesn't matter. We have Perfect Lives.'
A sentiment which we tend to agree with. In addition to the title's suggestion of the aspiration for which we hope our activities will be orientated towards, Ashley's own blending of vernacular speech with the avant-garde genuinely feels like a symbolic representation of the tone we hope to find here.

Any other poetics?

All this new technology
will eventually give us new feelings
that will never completely displace the old ones,
leaving everyone feeling quite nervous
and split in two.

I have ideas, how do I get in touch?

Let's hear 'em.