Beyond the Hypersurface

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Beyond the Hypersurface

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As developments in biological technologies progress, the biological and political are intrinsically bound.  Acting as a cheap propaganda video, Beyond the Hypersurface indulges a post-Earth, post-tech society whose rejection of contemporary technology and utopian views of cybernetics as model for biological system brings forth an ideology of evolutionary existence as pure collective biology. 

Drawing upon Carl Zimmer’s accounts of the phenomena of myxozoans - organisms that ‘reverse’ evolve to become smaller more simpler life forms until they are single celled, these post-Earth colonies evolve beyond the confused complexity of human form and function, toward the pulse of a neo-stromatolite form.  By cultivating microcosms of post-humans, flora and fauna, the society engages epigenetics to breed themselves beyond the hypersurface of the present, to simple cellular form for which the collective biological commune - the microbiome - is deity.

Bacteria - amoeba - jellyfish - dinosaur - human - jellyfish - amoeba - bacteria. 



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As inferred by the title, HE BEING DEAD YET SPEAKETH conjures ideas of life continuing beyond the grave through alternative bodies or vessels; specifically transformation of embodiment and psyche within biomedical ritual.

Through this performance I re-annoint my skin with liquid fibroblast cells, grown from skin tissue taken from my thigh via biopsy, and processed to a cellular level in the laboratory.  

The work developed in reaction to my experiences creating artworks involving tissue culturing cells and tissue of donors (both named and anonymous) and myself, alongside a continued investigation of the conceptual relationship between the ruptured body and identity.  The process of working with living cells from my own and others’ bodies was less of a subjective experience than I anticipated. The layers of gloves, lab coat, flasked cells, and glass barriers of the sterile hood in the clinical laboratory space created physical and psychological barriers that prevented a subjective connection with the human origins of the living cells and tissues. Despite literally having my hands in the microcosms of the donors’ internal bodies - albeit a satellite incarnation of those bodies - I felt wholly disconnected from their agency.

In response, the performance is an inscribing of the internal body upon the external body - in a sense, an act of extreme individualism attempting a destruction of the self - to dissolve the internal/external barriers - to turn oneself inside out; disappearing the singular self to become cellular plural.  As analogy for the body within collective society, the inscription of the internal (objective) body over the external (subjective) body is also a layering of the biological over the individual, the exact process which the use and objectification of cells and tissue through biotech processes can enact.



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