Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Ecstatic Energy confounds the notion of (business in) art.

Ecstatic Energy Consultancy Inc., is a conceptual masquerade, if you will, that looks like a consultancy business, but really is a collaboration with artists & other curators.
Ecstatic Energy Consultants Inc. is a Los Angeles– based firm that provides experiential assessments into the relationships between institutions, the public, and the natural sphere...Ecstatic Energy Consultants Inc. emerged in 2009 as an expression of its founders' interests in the increasing strangeness in contemporary America. 

The "problems" that their "clients" seek solutions for, become schemes of intersecting ideas in order to foster witty, insightful & elaborate interventions that foster dialog, bridge lacks of awareness and inspire change.
What creates inquisitive visual confusion and humor on their website, are the stock-esque images usely seen in corporate advertising sites:
What drives the tongue to the cheek is:
Our team’s combined accomplishments in the fields of activism, art, design, new-age physical therapy, non-profit administration, publishing, psychedelics, sailing, and theater enable us to offer our clients a sensitive, multi-dimensional approach. Did I just read, sailing?

A recent "client" is Elana Mann. 
Ms. Mann's work centers heavily around performance, public engagement or intervention, global and international issues, politics, gender, identity....it is very rich and full. Many of her curatorial projects are collaborative in nature.

It is here that we see the lines blurred between artist and curator - a topic of recent discussion: It is not straightforward collaboration, because there is an initiator who conceives the project without group consensus, invites others to participate, and is vested conceptually and sometimes financially in the idea. But it is not straight curating either, simply for the fact that they are participating as an artist.
Perhaps a new word is needed for this type of person/artist/curator. Curatist? Articurist?

Anyway, I can't help but see how Ecstatic Energy's clever guise as a business is a perfect solution to this very conundrum:
EEC Inc.’s Energy Assessments are first built on a foundation of research. We take a systemic view of the focus of our investigation, and try to learn the dynamics of all the kinds of energy that flow through that system. This provides us with a network of concepts, meanings, and synchronicities--a bird’s-eye view of the whole thing. We then perform an experiential analysis where we use our bodies, our senses, our intuition, and our openness to chance. Using both of theses kinds of inquiry allows us to find the myths in the systems that are so often overlooked.

Which poses the question, of art systems and Geographic Identity.* What are our masquerades and who do we masquerade as?

----The Project----
The project (case study) they created with (their client) Elana Mann, is the eec004 - Subaru Outback.
We plan to look at which car’s raw materials come from conflict zones, imagine if cars could become vegetarians, look at gridlock as a possible productive time for drivers and passengers, and find reverie in other reflections about how we get from one place to another.
The project aspects were:

Fundraiser with
Donor stickers designed by Steven Anderson of  EEC, Inc. and magnetized to the car :
I chose to contribute an "inspirational message" (Kowabunga Dudes), instead of my name as a sponsor. I was thinking more like riding the wave, and unfortunately did not know it was also used by Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Assess & Prep the Car: 
Mojave Road Trip:
Exhibition "Driven by What's Inside":
Saturday, October 2nd, 2010
7pm to 9pm
Side Street Projects in Pasadena, California
730 North Fair Oaks Ave.
Pasadena, CA 91103

Ecstatic Energy Consultants, Inc.

You can view the entire photo album on their flickr site.photo credits: Ecstatic Energy Consultants Inc. with Elana Mann and Jean Paul Leonard

* In keeping with my blog theme for movement 365 (Geographic Identity).


  1. I really enjoyed your post. I am going to share it with my Public Art Class. This week we are talking about strategies and tactics.
    I can't wait to do a little more reach in to this.
    Cat Pena

  2. Thanks for sharing their project with your class, Cat!