19th June I dreamt I was pregnant. It was actually my labour day, I even remember the date , 15th July (ironically, that´s 9 months since I started Hybrid Family process in mid October 2015!). During the whole dream, I was on my way to the hospital, but there was just so many things to do, so many people to talk to and coordinate, so many personal issues to solve. By the time the transitional phase started and hence my cervix was already opening, I still wouldn´t manage to get to the hospital. I continued solving all the unsolved issues instead ...
I woke up knowing it is finally, and more than obviously, time to compose my last post. Hybrid Family process has been ongoing in real life, as Ada moved with me and Byron to Ljubljana in February and has been taking part in our daily psycho pathological battle for survival. It has been mainly fought around the bureaucracy prone realm of a so called self-employed artist, an independent one. Independent! What a joke! I have been having financial and consequently health problems for the last few months and have been seriously thinking on just quitting the whole „Hunger Game“. Depending on collaborators, curators, producers who are inevitably in a position of power over me, par excellence. The price of freedom of an internally displaced. Working for payment which is not being paid in monetary value nearly as much as it has been payed in recognition and prestige. I must be completely insane by putting myself, and all my animals for that matter, into this position of a class struggle within a status which can not really be categorized. And yet, there is a huge capital which I obviously do not lack: narcissism! :) A true modern don Quixote! Nevertheless, there is a responsibility which I keep towards our inspirational dialogue, and therefore I know it´s about time to compose myself!
When I look back towards Berlin part of the Hybrid Family process, especially the performative photography sessions, there was no concrete photo shooting scenario really. It was just the need to depict the essence of plethora of levels which my state of mind endured within those three months. Photos Manuel took along the week, he stayed with us, were a very spontaneous way of documenting our every day life. Which was a performance itself. There have been, of course, some obvious inscenations, but we were generally just playing. By saying that, I am refering to the term „playing“ regarding to Donna Harraway´s discourse, that is – playing by encouraging the development of ties to other people and other creatures, ties not limited by ancestry and genealogy, nor by species. Photos, as well as the performance sessions for those 5 days in January, when you also visited, were about showing that kinship within unraveling the inter connection of genealogy and species. Since kin-making is making persons, not necessarily as individuals or as humans. This is the discourse out of which my need to connect Hybrid Family and the whole K-9_topology series with the concepts such as the Anthropocene, the end of resources, overpopulation and therefore the refugee crisis, as one of the overall consequences, rouse from.
Byron (Scottish Border Collie) @ The Schengen Green Border, some 500 metres from my former home / March 2016
The wide-spread revivals of Christianity and Islam, the growing erosion of boundaries between ethics and politics and science, debates over human and animal and all the other critters rights, the scientific-technological „advances“ that are rapidly remapping the boundaries of the human, and mounting environmental concerns, makes me wonder how might human beings reclaim their animality as part of a process of creative evolution, by Nietzsche called (though only once) the übermensch? I really don´t want my projects to be understood as any kind of proposed solutions for the future (which I think is really blunt to say the least), however at this point
I would call the potential „methamorphic and metabolic transformations“ (by C. Davis Acampora) of my endeavors, which I think can be already sensed within some of the Hybrid Family photos, „the undermensch“, as a bow to critters of sub-pathways of the trophic ladder, that is - identifying with the ones that always survive, instead of being part of the robust ones placed highest.
The endogenous, pituitary neuro hormonal performance has been an intro to my next molecular performance which I have been preparing these months. It transforms K-9 (Canine)_topology into Kin-o-topology. Regarding to Harraway who states: “Make Kin, Not Babies”; nevertheless they both demand our best emotional, intellectual, artistic, and political creativity, individually and collectively, across ideological and regional differences, among other differences. So therefore the Hybrid Family photos exist as not yet fully composed map to my next endeavour, an interspecies nuclear transfer, by sharing my own enucleated oocyte cell (extracting its nucleus) in order to squirt the nucleus of Ada´s oocyte into it (which I will get as part of Ada´s regular sterilization procedure this summer), then fusing them with a wolf sperm cell. Immediately after innoculation, we will put the material into cryosleep. All three species will become genetic parents - (m)Others: two canine genomes merged with a human cell host, offering themselves to be colonized. By Nature. Well, at least the two of them.
Wolves, dogs and humans do not have same chromosome number, therefore the idea behind the concept raises again from Deleuze and Guattari who give the example of a becoming-animal interaction between a wasp and an orchid. The orchid, by appropriating physiological and chemical properties of the female wasp, entices the male wasp to pollinate it (Beaulieu 2011). Filiation does not apply here, since there can be no orchid-wasp hybrid produced through this interaction. Rather this interaction represents a becoming, a state of being that transcends the boundaries of classified distinct “species.” Or Agamben in Homo sacre: Thus, the body is the “bios”, the somatic mortal tissue of finite span. And that cycle of embryonic stem, germ stem, and gamete cells is the “zoe”, the immortal life that is unbroken. By donating my oocyte cell as a host, I am decomposing genealogy of wolf, dog and human, who have been (de)regulating environment together for thousands of years, putting us in an equal co-habitation position, position of two invasive species (dog to a wolf at least!, and human to both of them and many other species) and the third, by far the oldest, but nowadays endangered one (wolf).
The final concept is to develop a proposition for a herbivorous werewolf, since dogs, as humans, are able to digest starch (due to a common selection pressure since the agricultural revolution), this werewolf would be able to digest starch, as the most viable polysaccharide on Earth. The poetics of this creature is, that it would be existing without ideology, but would in its genome maintain at least some part of humanity.
Anthropocene with Caninocene Timeline
Since the Anthropocene is about the destruction of places and times, which apparently makes me doubt becoming a biological parent to a human baby, I guess I still regret not being a mother, but I would probably regret being one as well, so in that manner I need to quote Harraway one last time: I think babies should be rare, nurtured, and precious; and kin should be abundant, unexpected, enduring, and precious. Therefore to conclude by using Hybrid Family molecular discourse: it has been well recognized that prolactin ensures survival of the species through its reproductive role and survival of the individuals of the species in its homeostatic roles, so I call and welcome women and men, and everyone in-between to (continue) breastfeed(ing)!
As my subconsciousness set the deadline of posting my last letter 9 months after the first one, I have officially became (m)Other. ... and am for that matter obviously not withdrawing from the "Hunger Game" just yet!
Thank you very much on your insightfull thoughts dear Jens, thank you for joining me on this profound journey.
Being a part of this exclusive dialogue has been a true honour. I wish you, as well as all of your hybrids all the best, and am looking forward very much to your last letter.
A big furry hug from Ada, Byron, Maja! ***