CONSTITUTIONS (For the Old Abandoned Building of the Bank) by CHRISTOPHER CLIFTON

Preamble: The following records an understanding of the contract that has brought us here together to agree on what that means. It was written for the purpose of declaring our decision to inhabit this once empty, now communal space; and of providing legal basis for the future of our union. Every clause has been agreed by those here present, who enact our constitution with one voice.


  1. The only principle to which we may adhere is that of being here together.


  1. The principle of being here together will exclude the application of whichever social system to determine how or what it is to be.


  1. We will hold therefore to that which is, not that which should or could be.


  1. That which was is relevant in terms of that which is, or as implied in the appearance of the fact of that which is, and therefore not as something past. That which is cannot be that which was.


  1. Nothing is possessed by any party to the contract. That which is cannot be that which will be.


  1. The fact of being here is not a consequence of being in this space, but space and being here are concomitant. Our principle may open to the outside, and extend to other spaces.


  1. However we are not concerned with anything outside the space we currently reside in.


  1. The enjoyment of this space is shared as long as this space is to be enjoyed.


  1. We will offer no resistance to the ending of this space, but will accept it as a fact of that which is.


  1. Notwithstanding we will be who we will be, and will express ourselves according to what is.


  1. Our use of language is the currency by which our being here is held together, but will only be performed by way of signalling what is, and as a means by which what is may come to be for other people. This use of language will preclude the use of formulae, and customs, and conventions to give meaning to the world, and will be learnt at every juncture. To be able to express what is needs effort and attention.


  1. A deliberate attempt by any party to mislead or to convince another party that what is is what is not, or that what is not is will lead to a reduction of their credit to take part in future discourse.


  1. This discourse is however always open to divergent points of view as they arise between the parties, and no single point of view is to be viewed as universal. The essence of this discourse is forgiveness, by which nothing will be held against a speaker who holds nothing to defend themselves from other points of view. The question of what is is an ongoing occupation to give into – but the need for a definitive account of any urgent situation is to meet with the consent of a majority of anyone concerned.


  1. Although the truth is our concern, the enjoyment of our truth is also vital to the health of our community. Allegories and jokes and other arts are also ways to say what is, and are encouraged.


  1. The work to be performed is also taken in accordance with the nature of what is, and is inseparable from that which it would alter. The work is to be taken when it has to be performed, and by the party who receives it. The work cannot be put aside for later, or for someone else to deal with. Any party that refuses to take notice of what is will be the subject of discussion, but the course of this discussion must involve their point of view. No party will be spoken of not present to the hearing.


  1. Taken in this way our work is leisure, and our leisure may be taken as our work.


  1. There is no purpose to our being here together. Any consequence of being here together will be how it has to be, and not how anyone might like it.


  1. The formulation of these terms is an example of our being here together, and as such may be continued. Their continued formulation may be in future be accepted as the form of being here as one together.


  1. The formulation of these terms is for their further formulation.


  1. There is no limit to the number of those willing to take part.


  1. This space is open to the world in which it opens.




Christopher Clifton was born in Australia. His treatise Of the Contract is published by Punctum Books.