“This is a story of biopower and biosociality, as well as of technoscience.”
— Donna Haraway, The Companion Species Manifesto.
Ansible shows a space, sound and light display that is arranged to represent recognizable aspects and references at sites such as: laboratories, seed banks and environments for the controlled cultivation of artificial life in living organisms; stores of geological samples and herbarium collections found in contexts such as the Madrid Centre for Astrobiology, associated to NASA; in vitro cultivation of endangered species in the São Paulo Botanical Garden; the Institute of Volcanology within the University of Barcelona; the Santiago de Chile Museum of Natural Sciences; and the Seed Bank in Vicuña (northern Chile). In the recreation of this environment we will not find the usual stabilizing elements but rather others which introduce formal and symbolic variables that contradict the utilitarian logic of scientific simulation or artificial maintenance of life forms to accommodate speculative thinking. Instead of germinating seeds in petri dishes (a simulation of lives that can no longer be found in their endemic ecosystems), we will find fossils of various different plant species which have disappeared or are in danger of extinction, found in historical archives and subsequently carved out on the specular surfaces of obsidian rocks. This material (crystallized lava) has historically been attributed with being able to connect different worlds; a magic screen or interface between different realities. Here, taken as a dialectical object, it materializes as a fossil, but also as a mirror. This material has the vitreous nature of the vials of seed stock, however it has been processed as a lapidary object; it is a memento mori where materials which act in two different directions are constantly intertwined. On the one hand, they make up the “raw material” of existence, on the other, they point to the problems of a planet in crisis, where we see ourselves as fossils of a future universe, not devoid of life, or thinking – but maybe of ourselves. In addition two actions will take place in the room with the producer and experimental musician, Lucrecia Dalt, and the programmer and performer, Jan Mech. The constant light temperature, which is usually essential for maintaining artificial life, will be changed using Arduino programming, following the modulation of four sound and text compositions (played by automaton voice overs), which go through dreamscapes of resilient lives; from extremophile sciences, necropolitics, extractivism and artificial life… etc.
* Ansible (from the English word, answerable) is a term coined for science fiction by the writer, Ursula K. Leguin, who describes her invention in her 1974 novel The Dispossessed: An Ambiguous Utopia.
1. Song of extremophilia: Descende, audax, viator, et terrestre centrum attinges
I have lost count of the time I have been here
I do not really know
but the suitable conditions have taken place to wake up
after several centuries
not knowing how much I could bear
because nobody ever trusts.
This is a lake, I know that.
A lake or a swamp or a river.
Or a pit
And that red acidic water I dye
I thank my philia for my extreme conditions
The dissent, the dysfunctionality, my abnormal enzymes
even if I do not exist, if they do not conceive me nor classify me
being innumerable, unthinkable
I dwell the furthest, Urras and Anarres
the deepest, the most poisoned, the eight circles of hell, Bacillus Infernus
Xerophile, I have desiccated myself
Halophile, in the Dead Sea
Verne’s Bold traveler.
60 degrees, isolated, without oxygen, in the dark inside a gold mine in South Africa.
I am an ecosystem of one single species
My mineral environment is dead
I have built my organic molecules
from the decay of uranium,
from the moisture of the soil,
from the inorganic carbon of the rocks,
from nitrogen, from ammonium
here we know neither pure oxygen nor the sun
I have not seen the light for more than 3 million years
This is Mars and Enceladus
mm.rnlls esreuel seecJde
sgtssmf unteief niedrke
kt,samn atrateS Saodrrn
erntnael nuaect rrilSa
Atvaar .nxcrc ieaabs
Ccdrmi eeutul frantu
dt,iac oseibo kediiY
I fell with the red rain of Kerala
They said my origins were extraterrestrial
from the left hand of darkness
where only the uprooted live
from the consciousness of Faustine
thence descends, Audax Viator
until reaching the center of the Earth
2. Revenant Song: Against abyssal thinking
Something strange has been always happening with my names:
As the owners of the abyssal thinking, always give me the scariest ones
or, suspicious of the value of words and symbols,
they make them disappear
I, in the meantime,
linguistic and genetic actions
they erase inscriptions with layers of paint
they burn birthmarks
the slit open
they protect me well, they armor-plate me
they store me
like a file
a volume of data
they hurry me
to the other side of the line
they produce me non-existent
they do not realize
that I am dialectical
that I am co-present
of the God of Heavens
nursemaid of hounds and pigs
of non-human tendencies
We are a pictogram
a first code
of cuneiform writing
in obsidian boards
in interfaces where
is a state of matter
And those satellites
do not know yet
∫Terra[X]n = ∫∫∫∫…∫∫Terra(X1,X2,X3,X4,…,Xn,t) dX1 dX2 dX3 dX4…dXndt = Terrapolis
X1 = stuff/physis, X2 = capacity, X3 = sociality, X4 = materiality, Xn = ??
α (alpha) = not zoë, but EcoEvoDevo’s multispecies epigenesis
Ω (omega) = not bios, but recuperating terra’s pluriverse
t = worlding time, not container time, entangled times of past/present/yet-to-come
REGINA DE MIGUEL is a visual artist born in Malaga in 1977. Her work develops connections between situations of scientific analysis and perception as objective knowledge (scales of verisimilitude) and levels of development of the ideal and critical consciousness (new means of orientation). Part of her production has dealt primarily with the strategies of the formation of desire, crises in subjective meaning, and her visualization of the psychological landscape as a form of map making. She has set up individual exhibitions as Ansible (Maisterravalbuena, Madrid, 2015); All knowledge is enveloped in darkness (Kunsthalle São Paulo, 2014); Nouvelle Science Vague Fiction (General Public, Berlin, 2011); El Aire aún no respirado (Laboratorio 987. MUSAC, León. 2009). Regina de Miguel lives and works in Berlin.
LUCRECIA DALT, née Maria Lucrecia Perez Lopez (Pereira, Colombia 1980) is a musician and composer that dove into music and sound production full-time after working as a civil engineer in Colombia – her pursuit of avant-garde sound brought her to Spain and then to Germany, where she currently resides. While highly technical, Dalt’s music still maintains a quantity of emotionality, merging accessible, melody with abstract structures. Her recent work develops around the ideas of repositioning fiction, geologic time, the ethics of repetition and the importance of sound dynamics.