At the invitation of Professor Ruth Schnell, I worked with a small group of students from the Digital Arts and Art & Science program to create a performative event. Here is the invitation!
HOX ZODIAC Empfang
Die zur Zeit in Wien gastierende Künstlerin Victoria Vesta (Schwein), UCLA Art Sci center, gemeinsam mit Denise Schellmann (Affe), Juno Matsumoto (Affe), Julia Tazreiter (Tiger), Magdalena Friedl (Ochse) und Special Guest Lucie Strecker
HOX ZODIAC reception
Visiting Artist Victoria Vesna (PIG), UCLA Art Sci center, together with Denise Schellmann (MONKEY), Junko Matsumoto (MONKEY), Julia Tazreiter (TIGER) and Magdalena Friedl (OX), Nikita Zhukovskiy (DOG) with special guest Lucie Strecker (SNAKE) invite you to join us for a
TODAY, April 5, 2016 — 16:00 – 18:00 — Sterngasse 13, 2nd floor
Performing the Animal Self / Ingesting Cultural Hybridity: Hox Zodiac reception
Chance is the only true source of novelty. Life Itself is chance. Crick, F. The Origin and Nature, pg 58 (1982 )
Our perception and experience of the world around us is limited by an anthropocentric viewpoint – in part a physical limitation of our senses – but largely because we forget that as animals we share a common inheritance both genetically and ecologically with the myriad of species around us.
Genetic information is the ultimate game of chance – a success of evolution thatis based on heritability, mutations, and variations that promise of survival, species propagation, and enhancement. Responding to the emergent nature of the game-like environment of the ancient Book of Changes, the I Ching, and the related work of John Cage serves as a base for the conceptual framework of the project. Similar to Cage’s ideas of chance and indeterminacy, this work looks to the ancient Eastern philosophies along with the scientific research, seeking the balance between rational and irrational, conscious and unconscious – in relation to our interconnectivity with the animal kingdom.
The students were asked to familiarize themselves with their given animal from the Chinese zodiac and explore the relationship to itself and the other animals in the room. The emerging hybridity is not only in relation to the genetic but also to cultural mutations. Through this interface, we specifically focus on the influence of Chinese culture in Western daily lives through consumerism.
We end the workshop with a tasting session that includes offering and ingesting food by participants as a cultural gesture. …………
Keywords: Hox gene • Chinese zodiac • I Ching • Neuroscience and art • Animal-human relationship • Biotech and art