What is Auticulture?
Auto: meaning “self,” “same,” “spontaneous,” e.g. autonomous.
The term auticulture is a deliberate oxymoron, because culture entails a collective body (developing over time) where auto signifies an individual self acting spontaneously (or even self-as-spontaneous action?).
What does this have to do with autism (neurodiversity)?
I am on the autism spectrum (high-functioning Aspergerian), and knowing that I am neurodivergent has helped me recognize that I do not participate in, or belong to, the dominant culture in the way that most people (neurotypicals) do.
As I see it, autism is not a disability but an alternate way of perceiving (and expressing) the world and the self. It is part of a human response to the unnatural limitations of the dominant culture.
What does this have to do with culture?
That’s another ironic paradox, because culture in one sense is created by creative human-types and creative types (also known as innovators) are similar to autistic types in that they/we don’t adapt to culture because they/we are not good imitators. Innovators don’t take social conditioning the way that imitators do.
Alienation from the dominant culture is the price of being an innovator, but also, the necessary condition from which innovation can arise. It is not a choice to innovate. It is psychological (and sometimes physical, and even spiritual) necessity.
The autos (micro-organism) which cannot shape itself to match the dominant culture must create its own culture in order to survive, and flourish.
In a word, auticulture.
Jasun Horsley, Jan 2015