Social Muscle Club is a group of people who regularly organize all sorts of participatory events in their quest to use art, especially performance, as an excuse to bring people together to exercise interpersonal skills ('social muscles'). SMC tries to change habitual patterns of thinking and doing through the practice of sharing. SMC began as a private party of 8 in a living room and expanded to a bimonthly event held at the Sophiensæle. June 2014 premiered the 'Trying to Talk’ tour, a series of events training inter-generational communication, communion with nature, and abundance. In the Fall of 2014 the club goes on the road to Pankow for "Social Muscle Club goes Garage" and expands to Bristol, England.
SMC was originally inspired by the social club in the documentary film “Menschen von Sheffield”, from Peter Nestler, a film about a group of blue collar workers in Sheffield, England, who pay membership into a club that states “entertainment and social support” as its primary purpose.
(Past) Everything began with a crisis, a point of stagnation a few years ago. We missed something. We wanted 'more' in our lives, 'more' in our art. We asked ourselves: What is the point of this whole career fight when we lose our joy, our humanity, in the process? We went on a search and invited our friends, because it wouldn't work alone. Together we developed a 'trainings program' in order to overcome isolation and encourage us to change the usual way of thinking and doing. The Social Muscle Club was born. After that, everything changed. The more we practiced, the clearer our basic principal became: through art we foster our capacity and potential. Not just ours, but also every participant's. Together we want to playfully train our social muscles, regardless of class, age, or life situation. Art seemed to us to be suitable for this task. Not just because we once studied it, but also because we were inspired by the extended concept of art-- 'Everyone is an artist' (Joseph Beuys)
(Present) Our life itself as a work of art. Through encounters we shape ourselves. We see it simultaneously as an idealistic but also concrete project. Out of the training-session/dinner parties in the living room with our friends the giving and taking club developed, to be held in regular intervals and various formats. There we turn our focus to a basic law of life: give and receive. An important factor comes in addition to that-- the performance as a gift. Without which, we think, makes the whole thing no fun.