a project of visual arts, music, writing and other media
about ongoing mutation, the persistence of affect and the genealogies of media
by Jaime del Val
dedicated to the dog Zara and transspecies affect.
In a more (trans)personal key than my previous projects, the project weaves through the story of an absolute LOVE between a human and a dog, (and around it of a double trio with another dog and another human, of transspecies kinship beyond gender) through five years of living in a roofhouse in Madrid, as both a molecular becoming and a becoming with, a simbiotic affect that exposes the depth, consistency and precarity of our affective ecologies, while exposing the contradictions joys and terrors of the Age of algorithms, Trump, refugees, selfies, emoticons, instagram, grindr or chemsex… Returning to older media like painting, instrumental music and song, and literary writing the project also investigates the genelogies of expressive media, entering becomings through them, while weaving accross Deleuze-Guattari, Haraway and beyond. Claiming both our nature as radical bacterial symbionts, the simbiotic nature of our affective-cognitive ecologies, and of evolution as movement of ongoing reciprocal (epigenetic and metagenetic) mutation and diversification, the project challeges the very notion of species and all its related categories of oppression (sex-gender, abledness, race, etc) and proposes a new Transspecies Era, of becoming molecular swamrs, for more plastic ecologies to come.
BECOMING(s) is a project by Jaime del Val, of visual arts, music, writing and other media about ongoing mutation and the persistence of affect. This first phase, entitled “The City in Becoming and the persistence of Affect – Studies of spacing and temporization”, has as its center a painting exhibition that hides something else behind. Starting from 5 years of living in a roof house with a panoramic view over the old town of Madrid, and from an archive of more than 12,000 photographs of that view, the project explores the singular spatiality of the panoramic, and in general of the rooftops of the cities and of open spaces (the Greek khôra) as an immeasurable and open Whole, a multiplicity with continuous variations of light, a becoming of space and the city.
The project performatively goes “back” to the genealogy of modern perception, in a vaguely realistic and perspectival painting of oil on canvas, with various references to the tradition (from Turner, the luminists or Monet to Gerhard Richter), and proposes a sensory movement of spacing and temporization (as in Derrida’s différance) that is transposed to a non-conventional exhibition space as sensory infiltration intervention or performance. The panorama is divided into 7 fragments and is distributed in the space with variations of each motif and in different degrees of dissolution of the image, (opening to future series of painting, photography and interactive digital media in increasing dissolution and movement). For this the paintings are spatialized and performatively staged in rooms similar to those where private collections of painting proliferated since the Renaissance, introducing in them a sensory movement that works against the fixed frame of perspective and the totalization of the panopticon model. The project includes visits to the rooftop-studio of the panoramic, where interactive digital and sensory experiences are carried out.
On the other hand, the project conceals a (trans)personal (meta)biographical, posthumanist and political key, about the persistence of affect, memory, non-heteronormative, polyamorous and multispecies families, trans-species becoming, and life on rooftops in times of selfies and chemsex, traversing a multiple becoming (personal, affective, of the city, sensory and of artistic media) while exposing the alignments that block becoming. The project is dedicated to the dog Zara and the defense of trans-species affects.
1st Phase: The city in becoming and the persistence of Affect
Studies on Spacing and temprization
with Transspecies Manifesto
- Painting exhibition: 6th May to 31st july, at the Centro Riojano in Madrid, Calle Serrano 25 – guided tours Monday to Saturday from 10’00 to 13’00 and from 17’00 to 20’00 – information and reservations
• Openingn with talk and performance: Wednesday May 22 at 20’00 with guided tour by the artist,
• Interactive experiences in the rooftop-studio: ongoing – information and reservations
- Exposición de pintura: 6 Mayo a 31 Julio en el Centro Riojano de Madrid, Calle Serrano 25 – visitas guiadas lunes a sábado de 10’00 a 13’00 y de 17’00 a 20’00 – información y reservas
- Inauguración: miércoles 22 de Mayo a las 20’00 con visita guiada por el artista, charla y performance
- Experiencias interactivas en el ático-observatorio: continuadas – información y reservas
- Fotografía y estampa digital – impresiones por encargo y visitas a la galería-estudio – más información en breve
- Catálogo y textos – disponibles en breve en pdf
- 2ª Fase – mayo-septiembre 2019: Devenir Musical
- 3ª Fase – julio-diciembre 2019: Devenir Literario
Imagen digital interactiva – performance en inauguración y estampas digitales:
Experiencias sensoriales interactivas en el ático:
Becoming – Becomings – Becoming-with
Becoming is the continuous, emergent movement and transformation of everything (subject, body, perception and world), and is an old concept of philosophy before the idea of being emerged: gignesthai (becoming) and kinesis (movement and change) were the primordial objects of pre-Socratic philosophy before Parmenides. Heraclitus is perhaps the pre-Socratic who further took the logic of becoming, giving it an identity, unity and logos: the unity, struggle and tension of opposites. Becoming is before being. Being is an illusion. There is only becoming and movement. And yet in that continuous flow emerge metabodies of persistent affections.
Becomings are also a concept in the philosophy of Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari in which processes come up where intensities arise that escape from (or deterritorialize) those formations and structures (or strata) that rule the normative worlds, opening them to a radical otherness. Becoming intense, woman, child, animal, music, molecular, imperceptible … movements of radical deterritorialization in which a new field of intensities arises, as in the processes of sorcerers or shamans.
Becoming-with is, in turn, the alternative that Donna Haraway proposes to Deleuze-Guattari’s radical alterity, when she criticizes their despise for relations between humans and animals: all becoming is a symbiotic process, a becoming with others in the world where every vulnerable category must be taken care of. This becoming-with resonates in the most recent proposal of Haraway of the Chthulucene, as era of becomings, of creation of new kinships beyond filiation, of tentacular alliances between species while traversing and persisting in the multiplicity of problems of an Earth whose narratives are larger and smaller than those of anthropos.
My account of becoming has elements of all three: Heraclitus, Deleuze-Guattari and Haraway. Becoming is intra-duction and metabodying: the process in which movement creates consistent but open fields in ongoing diversification.
Along with sexism and genderism, capacitism and rationalism, racism and classism, speciesm and anthropocentrism are the last frontier of colonial and oppressive categories. The numbers proof it: without mentioning the planetary devastation, climate change and mass extinction caused by capitalistic-anthopocentric action, every year more than 100 billion animals live locked up in concentration camps euphemistically called farms, to be killed later, more than ten times the world’s human population, ten thousand times the number of deaths in the Holocaust, a million times the dead in Hiroshma … every year …
Faced with this situation (but also in face of the rights of neurodiverse, children, and other minorities and to deal with the emerging reality of autonomous algorithms and of neoliberal marketing) ethics and legal ontology are poorly equipped, anchored in a discourse-centrism of the rational subject , of the supposed free will and verbal consent; bioethics in the best of cases patho-centric, based on measuring the degree of suffering, but not positively studying the way in which hybrid affective ecologies are the basis of all evolution, biodiversity and sustainability on Earth. Continuous reciprocal and collective mutation is the basis of life, not the identical reproduction of the same. Reproduction without collective mutation would be the death of the planet.
Affects (animal or not) are that collective mutation that creates ecologies based on the diverse. Affects are not emotions of a subject, they are relationships, affections, movement. Affects are the transversal way to decolonize all the bodies: can anyone deny the affects of animals, neurodiverse, non-rational subjects, children, sexual minorities or migrants? Ecologies of mestiza, neurodiverse, transgender and transspecies affects are the basis of a bio-resistance on Earth against the annihilation carried out by dominant systems that reduce, impoverish, kill our worlds.
This book is a denunciation of an anthropocentric, humanist and ableist society that continues to privilege the human, rational and adult subject, a hypocritical society in which many people express their love for their pets by treating them as family members but soon manifesting that these are second or third class with respect to humans. The same one that claims to adore the bitch that he claims as his, treats her as an object of his property without feelings, preventing him from seeing who she most wants, such as those current laws that consider the non-human animal as an seizable object.
This speciest discrimination is analogous to that which is made against any being that is not considered a rational adult (neurodiversity people, with functional diversity or disability, children), and in many countries still only man and upper social class are privileged. However, it seems that it is precisely this rational man who, by establishing himself as a species that pretends to be different and superior, is generating the greatest planetary devastation ever known, a colonial and capitalist being that has forgotten that evolution is a matter of radical symbiosis and cooperation between species; a being that only knows its narrowness of vision, that masks its violence; a being that has forgotten that the “human” is a chimeric hybrid of billions of years of bacterial symbiosis and of trans-species affective ecologies.
This book claims a world in symbiosis in which the “human” not only stops pretending to be the center, but, renouncing to any privilege of species, gender, class or capacity, renounce therefore the very notion of species, embracing the same becoming transspecies or metaspecies that grounds all biodiversity on Earth.
I AM NOT HUMAN, neither man nor woman, nor white, nor European, nor rational, nor abled. I am neurodiversa, mestiza, transgender, transspecies. Aware of passing by eurowhite I claim my blackness and mestiza nature (hybrid of Jew, black, Arab, indian, gypsy, white, Christian, Nordic, pagan … like almost all Spanish) and claim the superiority of all hybridity…. conscious of passing for rational abled I claim my protoautisic neurodiversity … conscious of passing for gay man I claim my trans / post-gender non-binary, orgiastic, post-intimate, polyamorous, nudist, whore, microsexual and post-queer natures…. conscious of passing for human I claim my transspecies and bacterial symbiotic metahumanity … I AM NOT HUMAN, neither man nor woman, nor white, nor European, nor rational, nor abled. I am neurodiverse, mestiza, microsexual, transspecies. I am a bitch more than a cyborg. I am an Ontohacker. I AM NOT A SELF. I am not a unit or a duality, nor an individual, nor a subject, nor an object, nor a State, nor a museum, nor a selfie, nor a police profile, nor a profile in a social network, nor the appendix of a planetary network of algorithms. NEITHER HUMAN NOR CYBORG (and both and much more). I am a molecular swarm, a metabody. (I’m not … I become). IN BECOMING. IN BECOMINGS. IN BECOMING-WITH…