Berlin, 25th November 2015 / / INVOLUTION OF (m)OTHER

 

 

 

 

Dear Jens;

 

before dwelling into (by now still only) oxytocine filtered perception of my 2nd post, I would like to 

thank you on your insightful feedback to my first one. It has been a stimulating trigger in my attempt to

compose the molecularly conditioned rationally-intuitive further meaning to the concept of the K-9_

topology process.

 

The last few weeks have been filled with a lot of research, accompanied with the logistics of various every

day pathologies in combination with the routine of every three hours for twenty minutes (also during the

night) breast pumping, trying to execute a proper diet and hydration, alltogether backed up by mood

swings which start to appear every now and then. I would like to start answering your inspirational

questions with the one on the name I picked up for an almost eight weeks old baby dog I am going to intro

duce into my pack as a new family member starting this Sunday. I have to start first with the meaning for

the name behind a Blue Merle Scottish Border Collie, whom I called Byron.

 

By watching photos of his primal family, his mother´s breeder sent me via e-mail, I actually first got a

crush on Byron´s sister. It was only when I arrived to the kennel and saw Byron sitting in the distant corner,

mischievously observing me, interacting with his two Blue Merle sisters which have jumped into my arms

immediately, that I knew, he was the one! There was such melancholy embodied in his posture (which

reminded me later of an Albrecht Durer´s 1514 engraving Melencolia I). As if that typical hypnotizing Border

Collie gaze, would trigger my emotional memory towards the very first conscious transfer I developed with

the non-human; my Newfoundland dog Bas, whom my family had when I was 5 to 10 years old. The text I

wrote for the „I Hunt Nature and Culture Hunts Me“ performance, was generally devoted to Bas. So when I

saw this eight weeks old Scottish Border Collie puppy at the kennel, four years ago, I imidiatelly got an

association of Lord George Gordon Byron who wrote an "Epitaph to a dog" - a poem to his dead Newfound

land dog Boatswain. A poem that is indeed very much romantically embracing G. G. Byron´s zeitgeist and

hence deeply capturing the humanistic Nature vs Culture dualism. I called the puppy after a dead romantic

poet. Ever since I wanted Byron´s name to remind me on the post-anthropocentric perspective I wanted to

apply while thinking-on and interacting-with the non-human as well as the human, with the living and the

non-living, and therefore not being affraid to go to subversive places!

 

 

 

     

  
    Statue dedicated to Boatswain with Lord G.G. Byron´s poem engraving / Newstead Abbey / UK

 

 

However, I am very much aware that in order to establish a mature artistic subversive discourse on

molecular performativity, I need to transfer from the realm of the individualized and sentimentalized

Freudian-Oedipal animal, whose unique history and name arises from the emotional alliance with a

human and therefore symbolises intimate family relationships.

 

I decided to call my female Icelandic Sheepdog (the origin resembles dogs found in graves in Denmark and

Sweden from about 8000 BC) first name Lady Lovelace, as a still obviously linear, associative connection to

Lord G. G. Byron´s daughter, who had, based on her mother´s resent to a non responsible, irreversibly ever 

absent father, been systematically trained in mathematics already as child, to later become the first

(female!) computer programmer.

 

 

 

 

   Bas /  Newfoundland dog  / 1985 

 

 

At the same time while deciding on choosing the name for my puppy, a coincidence happened: all the

breeder´s puppies in the litter had, by the purebred dog alphabetical naming convention, to be named by

the letter „L“. For every litter, a letter is assigned which is the first letter of every puppy´s name and there

fore the breeder chooses the litter´s letters by working their linear way through the alphabet, from A to Z. 

So when I told the breeder what I am going to name the puppy, she asked me whether I wanted Lady Love

lace to be her official pedigree name!

 

Since Nomen est omen, Byron and Lovelace are my non-human symbols of an art-science sinergy. Never

theless, I am adding an additional name to Lovelace in order to transfer to the second type of animal - the

Jungian, “archetype” animal that has a symbolic presence in myths, rituals, and spiritual beliefs of many

human cultures. Due to the specific zeitgeist regarding European crisis that coincides with the Hybrid

Family process, I am second naming her Laelaps (another „L“!) – as Europa´s mythical female dog, refering

to Hellenistic mythology of Zeus and Europa.

 

Sources differ in details regarding Europa's family, but agree that she is Phoenician (of a civilization centered

on the coastline of modern Syria and Lebanon 3200 BC to 300 BC). She is generally said to be the daughter

of Agenor, the Phoenician King of Tyre which was a capital from 1000 – 333 BC (the city still exsits by the

same name, located at the seashore of Lebanon); … Europa was seduced by Zeus transformed in the form

of a bull, who breathed a saffron crocus (a meaningful plant for the project to which I will return in

more detail during future posts) from his mouth, and carried her away to Crete on his back. In 2012, an

archaeological mission of the British Museum led by Lebanese archaeologist, Claude Doumet Serhal,

discovered at the site of the old American school in Sidon, Lebanon currency that depicts Europa riding

the bull with her veil flying all over like a bow – a further proof of Europa's Phoenician origin. From the

collective mythical perspective as well as based on facts, Europa is therefore of a Syrian - Lebanese origin!

 

 

 

 

 

 
   Phoenician coin: Europa with the bull

 

 

Back to the myth summary: after revealing his true identity, Zeus gave Europa a necklace made by Hepha

steus and three additional gifts: Talos, a javelin that never missed and Laelaps - a female dog who never

failed to catch what she was hunting. When she was later used to hunt the Teumessian fox, a fox that could

never be caught, a paradox occured: dog who allways caught her prey versus a fox that could never be

caught. The chase went on until Zeus, perplexed by their contradictory fates, turned both to stone and cast

them into the stars as the constellations Canis Major (Laelaps) and Canis Minor (the Teumessian fox). In

1650 Sir Thomas Brown wrote: "To England they (Icelandic Sheepdogs) are sometimes exported from Ice

land ... a type of dog resembling a fox …“

 

Laelaps and the Teumessian fox are the embodiment of an irresistible force paradox discourse: "What 

happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object?" The irresistible force paradox associates

me with the Agamben´s paradox of sovereignty: ... the sovereign is, at the same time, outside and inside the

juridical order. I see the current European refugee crisis which coincides with the Paris attacks catastrophy

as a part of the same paradox. What has been experienced in one night in Paris, has been a daily life for

Syrian, Iraqui, Lybian … civilians for the past 5 years. This is what they are escaping from. To Europe. … and

yet another paradox within the humanitarian cynicism of Europe, that (also) builds up the current Europe

crisis occurs, since we are the ones fighting terrorism even though we are the ones that have created it in

the first place. With, or without our consent.  

 

Being cynical (the word derives out of the Greek word kynos = dog) in the following paragraph, I am now

speculating: maybe European collective grieving for Diesel, instead of, for example, dwelling on the very

problematic fact that some of the Paris attacks terrorists have been French and Belgian citizens, and there

fore asking ourselves: what kind of post colonial, socially non-integrated living can a young person be

experiencing in Europe, getting so messed up to say the least, to decide to execute such a horrific radical

act? Maybe the grieving for Diesel the dog instead of, for example, empathize on the fact that on the same

day 19 people in Baghdad died by a suicide bomber at the funeral for a member of the volunteer paramili

tary force known as the Popular Mobilisation units. Maybe through the transfer with the smart, beautiful 

Diesel, the ultimate cynicism of Europa embodied in the most Freudian - Oedipal sentimental way. And 

sentimental is allways dangerous, since it emerges out of pure narcisism, pure self-endolguence.

 

I need to stress at this point, and to be absolutely clear: I am not regarding to people that were traumatised

at the very spot of the Paris attacks in any manner or their very loved ones, with who I empathize deeply. I

am regarding to the collective Europo-centric conformist majority humanitarian position, by quoting a line

from "A Brief History of Neoliberalism" by David Harvey: The first lesson we must learn, therefore, is that if

it looks like class struggle, and acts like class war, then we have to name it unashamedly for what it is. … and

therefore last, but by far not least; maybe for Hasna struggling in a class war was beyond feminism. 

 

 

 

 

 21st November 2015, Place de la Republique, Paris, France

 

 

How to think the European crisis through a molecular perspective then?

 

Along with Delleuze, Guattari and Foucault, here I add again the Agamben´s line of thought: Every attempt

to rethink the political space of the West must begin with the clear awareness that we no longer know any

thing of the classical distinction between zoē and bios, between private life and political existence, between

man as a simple living being at home in the house and man’s political existence in the city. Both Foucault

and Agamben are concerned with bio-power – the exercise of power on and through bodies. As an artist I

feel I need to use my own body (and bodies of my dogs) to re-gain the position of power. To re-gain my

body. Our bodies. I find inspiration in Hellen Borrough´s comment regarding Nicola Canavan´s performance

titled "Milk": … in context of the social and political landscape it (Milk) inhabits and provokes … you were

unashamed and unapologetic, you were owning your body, your milk, your desires with absolute agency.

 

So here I am: bios hunting zoē within my deeply emotionaly-physiological transfer with a dog. I do not see

zoē in the dog per se. In the realm of K-9_topology, Zoē would only fully become out of the human – canine

bios merge, embodied in the new species: through contagion, not filiation. In order to stress this aspect of

becoming, Deleuze and Guattari refer to becoming not as “evolution” but as involution, on the condition

that involution is in no way confused with regression. It has been extremely inspirational for me Jens, when

you wrote I am being pregnant with a meaning.

 

By being pregnant with a meaning, I am becoming (m)Other!

 

Within Hybrid Family process and performance I am therefore building a bridge towards the final project

within the K-9_topology series (with still a working title ARTE_mis), to finally transcendent beyond the

Oedipal as well as the Mythical animal, by contaging myself into the third type of animal - the Demonic

animal, which Deleuze and Guattari (as well as you and I, I believe) are most interested in! It is only in

relationship to the demonic animal that becoming-animal can occur. Unlike the other two types of animals,

and like the process of becoming -animal, the demonic animal has a molecular character. This is because the

demonic animal, like the process of becoming-animal, is a flexible and ever-evolving multiplicity; it exists in

a realm, a fold, all of its own. Therefore the process of becoming-animal for me involves the intimate, and

the social at the same time, both realized in my intimate politics that concerns the society.

 

By breastfeeding Laelaps, and therefore allready becoming Zoē for a brief moment, I am resisting the

conservative neoliberal system of biopolitics that rules the whole umwelt as we know it, down to our every 

last sub-atomic particle. The molecular is associated with that which is unconscious or subtle, that which

de-territorializes, that which is fluid, and that which operates on a micro level. Becoming (- animal) is a

molecular process: in my case the molecular process of my pituitary glands being so much triggered by

systematic breastpumping, they would get connected with hormone prolactin to accumulate milk in my

body. As a side effect of that triggering, hormone oxytocine increases, which evokes empathy.

 

Deleuze and Guattari define the anomalous as neither an individual not a species – as part of a pack/society

and an exceptional loner-leader within that pack, … thus allways a phenomenon of bordering. On the other

side, there are borders as a political concept. A power concept. Power is the one which decides for others,

with or without our consent. I grew up at the Slovenian – Croatian (Schengen) border. Maybe that is also 

why I (unconsciously) choose a Scottish Border Collie as one of my canine nomad companions, with whom

I have been traveling all over Europe, through all those boundaries, accompanied by laws and rules.

 

At the 16th November round table titled "Europe is Kaput. Long live Europe!", which took place at South

bank Centre London,  Julian Assange (via Skype) stated: ...there is no exit strategy … there is no alternative 

ideological dream for people in Europe … I don´t see anything that can occupy the mental space for young 

people who long for that dream. Last weekend I whitnessed borders through my oxytocine-haze filtered 

perception, traveling along barbe wired, heavily armed, traumatised Europa on my way from Berlin,

through Belgium, to Paris, and back. Sometime in the middle of the night, at the moment my MP3 player

started playing Mozart´s Lacrimosa, while driving within the very long line of cars very slowly, the armed

policemen directed a blindly-strong huge reflector light straight into my face. At the border entrance to

France. In that very moment I concluded: Empathy is my resistance towards the cynicism of Europa!

 

 

 

 

Sincerely Yours;

 

Maja