XNN Cross Neural Networks


We are currently testing material at The Chateau du Fey artist residency in Burgundy, France.

XNN and Jove Studios presents

The Cult Spa


The Cult Spa is a vehicle of experiential information delivery, designed to enhance the transformative effect of workshop material. Through a colourful immersive theatre set, interactive performances, specialised sound design and a humorous, light hearted style, participants will fast track themselves into self development.

Each person’s experience takes place over the course 12 months, including a physical visit to the Cult Spa, digital interactions, follow ups and community events.

Each programme will be focused on a specific theme, and will involve a combination of activities such as meditation, movement, art, music, and storytelling. In Summer 2022, we’ll be starting off with “self actualisation”, later developing “team building”, “pleasure” and “family”. 

The goal of these workshops is to help participants to tap into their creative potential, connect with their emotions, and develop a deeper understanding of themselves and their place in the world. We believe that this project has the potential to make a real difference in the lives of those who participate. By providing a supportive and nurturing environment, we hope to help participants to become aware of their unconscious drives, overcome personal challenges, and develop a greater sense of meaning and purpose.

We are working on a timeline of opening formal previews in late March 2023. We will also be taking a version of the Cult Spa to Boomtown Festival as The Temple of Zero 2.0. 



THE PROBLEM
Self development through wellness is hard. It can be expensive, time consuming, ineffective and the style of “woo-woo” can be unattractive. 

To feel full escapist immersion often involves external trips (e.g. yoga retreat in Goa, or 8 day silent retreat in country manor), which is inaccessible or non applicable for many.

Practising wellness can be hugely time consuming, and it’s easy to fall out of the patterns needed to sustain growth. 

For some the idea of the “spiritual” stereotype is enough to discourage practice. “Woo-woo” as a style of delivering self development work can be unattractive and cause people to roll their eyes so far back into their heads they start to go blind.

Resulting in:
  • Low empathy between people
  • Uninspired, sedentary population
  • Humans guided by subconscious
  • Infinite consumerist mindset



THE SOLUTION
THE CULT SPA: Participatory retreats
  • Holistic techniques x set designed, ritual based, participatory performances.
  • Immersive theatre hosts.
  • Uniforms for all participants.
  • Programme multisensory, full embodied experiences and workshops. 
  • Small, intimate, (5-25) person cohorts.

Somewhere between
WELLNESS / MEDICAL RESEARCH /
IMMERSIVE THEATRE / THERAPY

THE DIFFERENTIAL
What sets us apart?
  • Non-serious, comedic framing, with potentially impactful outcomes.
  • Wholly unscripted, audience led, organic narrative, creating an unrepeatable format.
  • Aesthetically pleasing spaces / set design.
  • 8 hour intensive immersion.
  • Brain surgery simulation.ASMR, sound healing journey.
  • Research data collection.
  • Fully participatory honesty creates personalised experience.
  • Based on a foundation of art, ritual and play. 



JOURNEY - 8 HOUR DAY



THE TAKE AWAY



  • A greater awareness of unconscious
  • Increased connection to others
  • Renewed thinking and ideas generation
  • Greater empathy
  • Greater sense of purpose in life
  • Stimulated creativity in unexpected ways



Previous work informing this project



The Temple of Zero

2022

Group workshops. A cult worshipping plants and technology and the networks between them. Holistic practitioners, 15-20 minute sessions, mindfulness. Connect to yourself, to others and to the wifi. Hosted at Boomtown Festival 2022.

 



XNN Series

2015-20

Group connectivity workshops. A neural tweaking programme for nodes existing in a simulated reality. Working on levels of self, interface and network. Consisting of sensory tweaking (The Forest, The Observatory, Optimisation), clowning workshops (Persona), speed meeting (Meet Market) sessions, 40-90 minute sessions. Hosted with AirBNB Experiences, Vault Festival.



Dr Leon: Neural Enhancement

2013-20

Individual brain surgery simulation performances. Emphasising self betterment through sensory experiences. Each session is personalised, using ASMR, talk therapies, taste, and light. 10-90 minute sessions. Hosted at multiple locations, including Secret Cinema, Merge Festival and Light Eye Mind Festival.




Art, Ritual & Play


A culture of art, ritual, and play can be a powerful way to encourage honesty, inspiration, and openness in setting intentions.

Art can be used as a means of self-expression, allowing individuals to explore and communicate their thoughts and feelings. By participating in artistic activities, people may feel more open and willing to express themselves honestly and authentically.

Rituals can provide a sense of structure and purpose, helping people to focus their thoughts and intentions. They can also create a sense of community and belonging, which can foster a sense of honesty and openness among participants.

Play can be a useful way to relax, let go of inhibitions, and tap into creativity and imagination. By allowing people to engage in playful activities, they may feel more open to exploring new ideas and setting intentions that align with their values and goals.

We will achieve this through a toolbox of instruments, interactive elements, performance, drawing, costume, smells, tastes, sounds and song.