The institute for Applied Paradox develops mind games and seeing exercises to explore the unthinkable. We consider Cartesian rational thinking as a main reason for today’s ecological, economical and social dilemmas. It is time to try alternative ways of thinking. Fuck logic, let’s try paradox – the meta the better!
For about 500 years we have been practicing rational thinking in the Cartesian style. This thinking has transformed our mind into a highly efficient tool with which we can analyze, optimize and exploit everything – but somehow it also forces us to do so. Caught in our rational thinking space, we tackle the biggest problems in human history with the same old reflexes that only bring us closer to doom.
We find ourselves caught in dilemmas, which we can escape less and less with our binary logic: security vs. surveillance, growth vs. sustainability, and rationalization vs. disability justice are only a few examples of false contradictions that are typical for industrial societies and unsolvable for capitalist mindsets. Nevertheless, this Cartesian rational thinking is so omnipresent that we cannot even sense its presence, like we cannot taste pure water and air. Rationality is the restrictive baseline of our imagination – we need to discard it quickly. In the end, there is no rational proof that ratio is better than non-sense.
Paradox thinking is orthogonally opposed to Cartesian rational thinking. It cannot be explained by logic but experienced by the heart. It offers solutions where ratio is speechless. It makes no sense but works.
For further info about our artistic research please visit the Užupis University.