We all understand the world through symbols, as frameworks that make sense of our experiences. Think of them like a kind of ‘software’, structuring the way we think and act. But many of us go through our lives without paying much attention to these symbolic patterns, their origins and effects. Alchemy is a deliberate attempt to explore and take control of such structures; to transmute our thought processes, and through them, the world. Despite seeming strange at first, many of alchemy’s esoteric symbols remain hidden at the heart of our present global reality. By creatively “hacking” these symbols, symbols which underlie our capacities to collectively think and act, this workshop combines game, drawing and conversation to rethink our approach to the pressing issues of the present.

Christopher Collier works at the boundary of art, research and collective practice, exploring and intervening into the stories by which society reproduces itself. This practice includes workshops, installations and texts – usually produced collaboratively. He is particularly interested in the part played by various ‘cultural commons’: from games and folktales, to zines and digital media. During his Studio4 Residency, Christopher will be continuing his investigations into alchemy and creative symbol hacking, including through a Magico-Materialism study circle and Cognitive Symbol Mechanics workshops. For more information and to book your free place at one of the residency events, please visit Christopher’s dedicated web page.

Cognitive Symbol Mechanics:
Alchemy for Creative Problem Solving & Social Transmutation
Workshop Dates:
Thursday 6 June – 7-9pm
Sunday 16 June – 2-4pm
Saturday 22 June – 2-4pm

Magico-Materialism Study Circle Dates:
Sunday 26 May – 2-4pm
Sunday 2 June – 2-4pm
Sunday 9 June 2-4pm
Sunday 16 June 11.30am-1.30pm