UTOPIA FACTORY ABRAXAS | Stéphane Degoutin [Quaderns #263 contributor], Gwenola Wagon, 2010.
Abraxas is the name of a gnostic god created by Basilides, an heretic religious teacher of the second century. The Basilidians did not believe in a magnanimous god, but rather in a demiurge, dual divinity. According to Carl Jung, Abraxas is “life and death in the same time. It engenders truth and lie, good and bad, light and darkness in the same word and in the same action”.
Thomas More first used the word Abraxas to name the island later known as “Utopia”. Presumably was he inspired by Erasmus’ Praise of Folly, in which Abraxas designates the city of the mad men. Only in the definitive version of his text did Thomas More coin the term “utopia”.
Utopia Factory is a research center where different utopias are experimented at full scale. Anyone can suggest a project. If it is accepted, a campaign is launched to find candidates for the experiment. The approach is empiric: the volunteers test the utopias for a period of a few months. In the event that it would not work as expected, they can experience another utopia, or come back to their previous lives.
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