Yūgen App is an ever-growing collection of exercises and instructions on reconnecting with nature and yourself created by leading international artists. Every morning, a push notification will remind you of one of the randomly selected exercises which can be practiced on a daily basis and included in your daily routine along with a work-out or yoga session. Cutting-edge art becomes part of your morning ritual and lifestyle.
The artists who participate in the App with somatic rituals, karaoke or choreographic scores focus in their practice on the investigation of the new shifts in the human’s perception of nature (specifically, after COVID-19 pandemics). The proposed exercises challenge the possibilities of instruction-based art which has strong roots in the conceptualist movement of the 1960s and can be seen as strategies to escape from the market, working as a non-monetary exhibition through the channel of a mobile App accessible for free. The genesis of this type of artworks (read Bruce Altshuler’s essay “Art by Instruction and the Pre-history of do it”) goes back to Duchamp as well who in 1919 sent his sister Suzanne instructions to create a wedding gift for her marriage to Jean Crotti.
To enact the work called Unhappy Ready-Made, they were to hang a text on geometry from their balcony so the breeze could “go through the book [and] choose its own problems…Yūgen App has much to do with the blurring of art and life and was inspired equally by proliferation of wellness culture and Allan Kaprow’s Essays on the Blurring of Art and Life. Art works Kaprow was attempting to create in the late 1950s and early 1960s, to disclose entirely unheard-of happenings and events or discover of ordinary things the meaning of ordinariness, art by instruction capitalizes on idealistic values set forth as early as the scores of John Cage and Steve Reich that release the artist’s autocratic hold on the artwork and open it to the world, a spirit Kaprow would take further in his attempt to blur uncontrollable life with art itself.
Instructions of Yūgen App propose different modes of thinking and feeling different arrangements of planetary coexistence, invite us to forge intimate kinships with nonhuman life-worlds that dwell in the blurred boundaries between technology and ancestral wisdoms and force us to reflect on endangered nature and our relationship with it by proposing face-to-face encounters with nature and non-human beings.Theexercises propose that we listen—and observe, smell, touch, speak—to the land, the water, the air not with the aim of distantly understanding, grasping, or exploiting, but to resonate, to vibrate, to be together.