The interactive work that you have now in front of you is just the last part of a bigger artwork -Unlovable Species: Becoming Pest- which happened to be a performance lecture.
Because the venue you are in has a «no-animals policy» the complete piece won't be performed.
Performance Lecture Trailer
«Pests» Often repudiated, overlooked or neglected by the self-proclaimed superior human, a species that designates, labels and operates anthropocentrically, perhaps anthropocentrically ignoring the vehement irony behind some of those designations and labels.
The project intends to explore our human state of being within a world where power relationships are gathered under a narrow spectrum of unilaterality and anthropocentrism. It aims to navigate and rethink the nature of our co-existing with others, whether human or not, whereas questioning how those intra-actions are being conceived and taking place. Rethinking the narratives that inform our understanding of the world Overall, it wants to highlight the urgency of questioning the legitimacy of our species when it comes to determining which species (and by extension within our own too) are desirable, valuable or legitimate.
Therefore pests, specifically cockroaches, became the symbolic chore of investigation. Their common undesirability, which was re-written as unlovability, embodied a powerful metaphor that seemed to push empathy, ethics and contradiction to an uncomfortable, messy, and complex but, most importantly, fertile terrain.
I have been living with two Blaptica Dubia cockroaches for four months and what they taught is immeasurable. They fear for their lives, protect each other and love...oranges! What once repulsed me, slowly started to seem...lovable.
However, and not without a reason, my presence was as undesirable for them, as theirs is often to the human species. Could we then, intra-act differently, diffractively? Since my anthropocentric approach for building familiarity (touch) was not welcomed, could there be a way to feel their legitimate presence while being absent? Silencing the voiced and voicing the silenced?
If I am home, a motion-tracking algorithm traces the cockroaches' actions and movements, which are then translated to a sound matching 12 diffe-rent areas. When I feed them, their movements create a gracious symphony of excitement.
When I am absent, the algorithm data is uploaded into a cloud, and then received by a wearable device that plays the mentioned sounds around my body. Allowing me to know, real time, where the cockroaches happen to be and their movements. In exchange for that, I send them back a bit of heat close to the area where they happen to be. An experimental exercice that looks for a diffracted way of intra-acting.