Serendipity refers to occurrences of unexpected encounters, pleasant surprises and accidental discoveries or ‘eureka’ moments. They are delicate phenomena that create such an impact to the recipient of the experience precisely because of the uncertainty that precedes its advent. he earliest recorded use of the word ‘serendipity’ dates back to 18th century, when art historian Horace Walpole mentioned it in a letter, and was said to be derived from a Persian fairy tale ‘The Three Princes of Serendip’ who in the story “were always making discoveries, by accidents…of things they were not in quest of”. Serendipity is how we identify (always later on) that which we could not identify yet at the point of encounter but nevertheless are immediately embodied. And naming it becomes an afterthought that belongs to and populates our memories and histories.

Serendipity, like leftover, is another loose fiction. Both are notions of time, a signification of value born out of a happening. It synthetically frames as fortuitous an accident, meaning a constellation of circumstances emerging beyond rational intentions. It is not the pure experience itself rather its afterthought that colours a pure memory into a fictive narrative. Leftover and serendipity represent a spectrum of value that is activated by human moral agency.

In this global age of transition that cries out for solutions towards crises of excesses and failed distributions (i.e. consumerism, passive spectatorship) that our previous paradigms have firmly solidified, how can a practice as simple as the renewal of perspectives towards ‘leftovers’ be a pretext for rehearsing sustainable and micro-political modalities of democracy (human empowerment)? This project is an ongoing investigation into the undercurrent psychogeographies of cultural production, focusing on deriving a philosophical learning practice of researching with what we call leftovers and cultivating conditions that rehearse and produce what we call serendipities. Through an improvisatory process of performing with / cooking (leftovers) that relies on the rubrics of learning by doing and making something with what is already there, I set out to facilitate the creation of choreographic architectures I call nowhere kitchens as discursive unfinished platforms for re-cooking persisting paradigms of design and choreography into renewed and renewable thresholds of knowledge.

By Pepe Dayaw

performance artist and choreographer from the Manila, based in Berlin / Brandenburg

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