BLISTERING WOUNDS

Excerpt from Gamrot A. Floating in Ease and White Noise Sameness.
Or how to reclaim ones right to sensory transit.
A Speculation.

MA Contemporary Art Theory. Goldsmiths. London. 09.2017

Full thesis accessible here

do you trust the robots? image: Gamrot A. 2017

do you trust the robots?
image: Gamrot A. 2017

Although, the city as the centre of exploitation and a place for decision making, is expanding, corroding and in slow motion passively dissolving the bodies within. Penetrating the human life, reterritorializing and dispossessing it of all crafts and features for the benefit of the system’s own survival. [Lefebvre, 1996, pp.118-121] Abusing the body - all-pervading, stretching and making it somehow disappear - drown within the ocean.

 

“She keeps turning corners until its dark enough to take the glasses off. The sea-roar somewhat dimished.”
– William Gibson, Pattern Recognition [p.131]

Now the body is within – underwater – as if swallowed into the inside. The over sensation disappeared, the body - lonesome - cannot feel anymore. Is this the state we will constantly find ourselves within? Blinded by the neon traffic cone above - radiating in its spectre of green – but losing our own sense of orientation.

We help the people to disappear. They live Down here. Their eyes following. Aside from the above. Constantly shifting. Green light - early fluorescent.”
– Laura Oldfield Ford, derives in Edgware Road

Mutated by the green fluorescence, constituting our presence only through an empty hull. An empty shell unable to find our way. Slowly drifting the empty skin, in colony with the rest of the “mass of dead”. [Gamrot, 2017, pp.93-99] Hannah Arendt states, on the bodies presence within the system and how that state assembles itself within the existence of the body, referring to it as the human condition. Where, the body in its natural form of its sensory existence [and with sensory I mean the wide range between the senses as well as the cognitive experiences and longings], is a constant target for the mutating instruments of its environment.

 

“Compared with the reality which comes from being seen and heard, even the greatest forces on intimate life - the passions of the heart, the thoughts of the mind, the delights of the sense - lead an uncertain, shadowy kind of existence unless and until they are [re]transformed, [re]de-privatised and [re]de-individualised, as it were into a shape to fit them for public appearance.” [Arendt, 1958, p.50]

 

But if the body is transformed can we take that process – make it ours and aim towards a new different plasticity, resulting in the body regaining its feeling of the city’s realm. Is there potential to BE reconfigured, or “are [we] afraid of [becoming] the robot?”. Full of “high-tech paranoia”, deterred by the surrounding instruments of the state, forcing us into a different reality, representing the dangerous autonomous networks and agencies in power as technology which is threatening. [Jameson, 1991, pp.37-38]

“When our utopias fail, we will have to start using the potential in our dystopias” [Artificial Tears, 2017] The dialog created by “Artificial Tears.”, pushes the imagination of a future towards a plea for resilience and a new plasticity of the “human condition”, as:

“This world, however, is not identical with the earth or with nature, […] it is related, rather, to the human artefact, the fabrication of human hands, as well as to affairs which go on among those who inhabit the man-made world together.” [Arendt, 1958, p.50]

Triggering minds so to restructure and find an architecture that would inhabit the body and vividly respond and participate in promoting new advance environments. Further, a spatiality that would allow us to re-evaluate existing ecologies and increase its assets to learn how to use them to our advantage. Working on alternative methods of enhancing material behavior within fabrics, maybe even introducing synthetic alternatives that would emphasize the system’s characteristics of self-organization, as a plea to not be afraid of the robot. Moreover, whilst dealing with social and political contributions, to develop an environment based on symbiotic relationships. As a proposal of an ecology which, through the introduction of a material prosthesis does not de-individualize but enables a system of bodies to evolve with its metabolism. Re-evaluating the real perceptions on the way of inhabiting new and old territories, establishing new dialogues. Constructing new fabrics, as a catalyst generating the influence of the artificiality of the established ecosystems on our presence.

 

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Arendt, H. The Human Condition. University of Chicago Press. 1958

Artificial Tears. Singularity and Humanness – A Speculation. As part of the Vienna Biennale 2017. Robots. Work. Our Future. Curator: Writh, M. Vienna: MAK, 21.06-01.10.2017

Gamrot, A. Senseless Jellyfish and Sensual Encounters. In The Crack-Up. Spatial Biopolitics. London: Goldsmiths. 2017

Jameson, F. Postmodernism, or, the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism. Duke University Press. 1991

Lefebvre, H. Writings on Cities. ed. Kofman, E. Blackwell Publishers, 1996

Oldfield Ford, Laura. Latham, Jack. ‘dérives’ in Edgware Road. Showroom Gallery. Listening sessions at UCL Urban Lab, Stadtklang: Savage Messiah with Laura Oldfield Ford. London: Arcola Theatre Bar. 07.05.2017

Alexandra Gamrot