‘Shivering Cortex’ – online exhibition by APART Collective
text: Ema Hesterová
The recent sequence of events has left us fragile, wondering, questioning and stimulated growth of an unlimited for imagining of what will or may happen. Uncertainty fell upon us. We’re conceptualizing the shape an alternated world might have. Utopian? Dystopian? Something in between? It gradually becomes more and more apparent that it should be a future in which emotional warmth and solidarity with others dominates and in which we step beyond our current understanding of economic, political, working and living arrangement. A future, imaginary value of which far exceeds our current time and space. A future where all the complex relations create one horizontal vascular system.
BUT, WHAT IF …? For now, the only thing we know for sure is, that “…the future is radically open”.
trembling with hope
In her video titled AXOLOTL, Marina Hendrychová digs into possible non-human-centric proposals. She focuses on animals, which are capable of immense regeneration, regrowth, a certain form of rebirth. Marina sketches a future, in which outdated dichotomic divisions and hierarchies do not apply and in which human is not raised above animals, plants and everything other-than-human. We no longer selfishly consider only our own perception and we revise and extend the notions of intelligence and sentience. A prospect, in which we revolt against simplistic approaches.
A different, or rather, broadened understanding of fading of borders between binary categories is represented by Dzina Zhuk’s performance Jeopardized Interfaces, a proposal where human bodies are modified and capable of inter-species synergy. Dzina reads her original sci-fi novel, accompanied by singing, voice and a strong motive of heavy breathing. Through the whole performance, the artist is looked-over by a drone, which also visually and sound-wise participates in it. It interacts, intervenes, reports its presence and gains an autonomous position.
Our contribution is based on an interview with biohackers by philosopher Lukáš Likavčan. Their thought-process is based on the inefficiency of food production and its environmental impact. Therefore, the main point of this discussion is a speculation about the possibilities of human photosynthesis, however applicable it may be. We devote ourselves to a different dynamic where we radically change our very own modes of living, breathing and our energy cycles. Time to re-consider our endless exploitation of the Earth and let our lives be based on radical empathy towards everyone and everything.
BUT, WHAT IF …? What if the dynamics of possible futures take an entirely different, distraught pace. What if the beliefs of flat-Earthers become true and we will celebrate anniversaries of flattening of the Earth? Natália Trejbalová examines this possibility in the first chapter of her speculatively-oriented video work and then we cut the ground from under. The storyline takes place at a time of the 5th anniversary of the flattening of Earth and we are guided by the voice of a scientist, who explains the circumstances and impacts of this event on earthly life. This rather concerning design, characterized by interruption and separation, can be read as a metaphorical warning of unpleasant effects that individualism, detachment and abandonment of unity might have.
An even more expressive turning point shows Nikol Czuczorová’s Organism. The narrative line of the video uses excerpts from Nick Land’s collected texts – Fanged Noumena. His disturbingly dark accelerationist proposal portrays a radical inhumanity, in which the machines take our place and cognition becomes detached from people. He accompanies us on a road to annihilation and blackness.
 Nick Srnicek, Alex Williams, Inventing the Future. Postcapitalism and a World Without Work, Verso Books, 2016, p. 148.
 Teresa Castro, The Mediated Plant, in: “e-flux Journal” #102, September 2019 https://www.e-flux.com/journal/102/283819/the-mediated-plant/
 Nick Land, Fanged Noumena: Collected Writings 1987 -2007, Urbanomic Media Ltd, 2011.
 Ibid., p. 293.
|Artist||Marina Hendrychová, Dzina Zhuk, Natália Trejbalová, Nikol Czuczorová|
|Place / venue||online|
|Dates||3 July – 18 August 2020|
|Curated by||APART Collective|
|Index||APART collective Dzina Zhuk Ema Hesterová Marina Hendrychová Natália Trejbalová Nikol Czuczorová|