part 3 of 3

2022 // Mixed media, video and clay

Collaborative project – An interactive experience designed to voice various world issues and encourage participants to reflect on societal structures as well as their global imact.

The piece consists of 13 clay typeforms that depict keywords in different languages, highlighting our actions and contributions to the world. Each participant chooses a clay form and carries it to the scan bed, “feeding it to the computer”. Once scanned, an animated video is played that further elaborates on the chosen word, giving real life examples of current events that reflect said keyword.

Zombies Don’t Recognize Borders // Written Response

We live in a world where there are unsolicited borders that create polarized places of existence constantly. There’s good versus evil, living against the dead and all the paradoxical nature of humans. However, the Zombie exists as an in-between state with things lingering over time.Thus, the zombie as a structure of living, or a world introduces us into a transcendental place in which there exists no borders or distinctions. Borders can be more personal between our own mind, body and soul, or can be as vast as separating continents, and countries to prevent warfare and violence. The zombie as a form of living also introduces interesting tensions as warfare, violence and mortality are not concepts that fear people in this world any longer, but just the mere idea of existing in this kind of world is fearful.

It is fearful in the way in which it is structured where the cultural and political past continues to revisit this world in waves. It brings back societal evil such as systemic racism and sexism back from the past into the future echoing concepts of Hauntology. This cycle of recurring pattern responds to one of the two directions established in Hauntology – that what is “no longer there, but is still effective as a virtuality. [For instance,] the traumatic ‘compulsion’ to repeat’, a structure that repeats, a fatal pattern)” (Fisher, 19, What is Hauntology?). Such examples include systemic racism, the “brain dead” ideology in industry worker structures under capitalism, and These ideas get more and more developed and produced in a manner that continues to haunt people. In this world, the borders don’t distinguish between objects, but power dynamics do. The idea of physical and mental power of assertion decides people’s positionality and hierarchy. People embrace ideas of the Zombie as a metaphor in scientific and social contexts. This world pushes everyone to work in the same demeanor as factory workers under capitalism where they are working mechanically with a fixed procedure and no usage of their creativity or brown power. People are encouraged solely through their impulses and not logic or emotions. Through this structure, we can ensure that people are kept  happy and create an illusion that they are set free from the reins of capitalism. This structure resonates with the power dynamics that the United States holds in the larger spectrum of the rest of the world as it continues to feed off the planet, while retaining its own energy.

The idea of a zombie as a structural element already exists in the field of Neuroscience, Computer science and Biotechnology. Neuroscience contains zombie agents, which are routine behaviors of things you perform without thinking or almost in the realm of reflex actions done over a prolonged period of time that become habitual. Similarly, computer science and biotechnology reflect ideas of zombie functions and biotech zombies that succeed and work with utilizing nothing but system resources. Our world is inspired by the zombie in these more humanistic and structural contexts where people exist and function through the haunted past of systemic horrors.