This is a story of biopower and biosociality, as well as of technoscience. Donna Haraway, The Companion Species Manifesto. Ansible shows a space, sound and light display that is arranged to represent recognizable aspects and references at sites such as: laboratories, seed banks and environments for the controlled cultivation of artificial life in living organisms; stores of geological samples and herbarium collections found in contexts such as the Madrid Centre for Astrobiology, associated to NASA; in vitro cultivation of endangered species in the Sao Paulo Botanical Garden; the Institute of Volcanology within the University of Barcelona; the Santiago de Chile Museum of Natural Sciences; and the Seed Bank in Vicuña (northern Chile). In the recreation of this environment we will not find the usual stabilizing elements but rather others which introduce formal and symbolic variables that contradict the utilitarian logic of scientific simulation or artificial maintenance of life forms to accommodate speculative thinking.
Instead of germinating seeds in petri dishes (a simulation of lives that can no longer be found in their endemic ecosystems), we will find fossils of various different plant species which have disappeared or are in danger of extinction, found in historical archives and subsequently carved out on the specular surfaces of obsidian rocks. This material (crystallized lava) has historically been attributed with being able to connect different worlds; a magic screen or interface between different realities. Here, taken as a dialectical object, it materializes as a fossil, but also as a mirror. This material has the vitreous nature of the vials of seed stock, however it has been processed as a lapidary object; it is a memento mori where materials which act in two different directions are constantly intertwined. On the one hand, they make up the “raw material” of existence, on the other, they point to the problems of a planet in crisis, where we see ourselves as fossils of a future universe, not devoid of life, or thinking – but maybe of ourselves.
In addition, two actions will take place in the room with the producer and experimental musician, Lucrecia Dalt, and the programmer and performer, Jan Mech. The constant light temperature, which is usually essential for maintaining artificial life, will be changed using Arduino programming, following the modulation of four sound and text compositions (played by automaton voice overs), which go through dreamscapes of resilient lives; from extremophile sciences, necropolitics, extractivism and artificial life… etc.
* Ansible (from the English word, answerable) is a term coined for science fiction by the writer, Ursula K. Leguin, who describes her invention in her 1974 novel “The Dispossessed: An Ambiguous Utopia”.
REGINA DE MIGUEL (Málaga, 1977) has set up individual exhibitions in General Public, Berlin (2011), Altes Finanzamt, Berlin (2010), MUSAC, León (2008) or Maisterravalbuena, Madrid (2007 and 2012). She has also exhibited in group shows as The Future Won’t Wait, La Capella, Barcelona (2014), Rencontres Internationales, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin and Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2013), Of Time & Place, Gasworks Londres (2012), Alrededor es imposible, Casa Encendida, Madrid (2011). Out of the black, Reh Kunst, Berlin (2011). In 2012, she gained the First Award in the IX Purificación García Photography Competition with the artwork “Un efecto de verdad” and the Hangar Grant, Plataforma Cultura Digital, Chile. In 2011, she obtained the XII ABC Art Grant and she is currently developing an audiovisual project with the BBVA Foundation Grant. Her work can be found in important collections including, among others, the Museo Reina Sofía, CGAC and Fundación ARCO.