PALAIS #28: ON AIR
How to Entangle the Universe in a Spider Web
14 Billions (Working Title)
Our Interplanetary Bodies
Flying Plaza Work Journal 2012 – 2016
Arachnid Orchestra. Jam Sessions
163,000 Light Years
Cosmic Jive: The Spider Sessions
THAT COSMIC BUZZ
I have a thing with insects.
Visually, they are cultural icons, with a history of representation akin to the monstrous, the sacred and the alien, that makes other species pale into insignificance. They trigger a range of affects that includes curiosity, horror, fascination, phobia, fear and loathing, They have been alternatively rendered as creepy mutants, disgusting vermin, resilient survivors, tentacular evolutionary left-behinds, Biblical plagues spelling the wrath of God, lazy parasites and dutiful laborers, tiny death-machines and frugal industrial engineers. And then there are the Machiavellian master-minds in the shape of spiders.
Sexually ambiguous, constitutively queer, insects titillate humans understanding. Their hyper-accelerated sexuality, rhizomic trans-species copulations with plants, and flowers, their larval power of metamorphosis, the mimetism, the parasitism, the mutations, the viral qualities, the genetic re-combinations and the brevity of their life-span amaze and intimidate humans. They evoke a reaction of attraction and repulsion, disgust and desire. Tiny miniatures, they exercise the same immense sense of estrangement as dinosaurs, improbable morphological constructs, they are hybrid par excellence.
To even enter in contact with them, you need microscopic vision and ultra-sound hearing. To actually be able to see and hear insects, humans need prosthetic enhancement through technologies, which call for a metamorphosis of the sensory and cognitive human apparatus. Insects are for me figurations of post-anthropocentric becoming and point to post-human sensibilities and alternative sexualities.
Becoming-insect means becoming posthuman, becoming imperceptible, becoming earth.
They have that buzz.
Spiders, synchronizing their body speed to the earth’s axis, are masters at capturing the intense sonority of their elemental material spaces, to map them and possess them outside the scope of human senses and cultural values.
Insects are amazing music makers, machinic sound organisms, as removed from the mammals and therefore the humans as biologically possible. By insect music I do not mean only the usual bodily noises that organisms make in moving about the planet, but rather the specific capacity to produce sounds that have speeds, variations and intensities. Sonic variations that are immanently connected to the territory, the eco-sphere, the time and day, the quality of the light, the temperature.
Insects are masters of nonlinguistic communication, including an acute sense of internal time. In this capacity, they are in closer to the technological apparatus than to actual animals. Or rather: situated in-between, spinning their pathways with supreme disregard for the human sensorial system and social mores. They signal the imbrication of the organic with the technological; see for instance insectoid and arachnoid terminology that is so often used to describe advanced technologies, especially robots and virtual reality artefacts, but also swarms of information and algorithmic slithering. Cyber-feminists argue that the Internet, or computer-mediated future can only be arachnoidic, or spider-like: it functions via lines, knots, connections, continuous relations. Thus, the discourse of arachnomancy can be used to explore possible evolutions of information technologies, their serial repetitions and procedural structure.