Botond Keresztesi, Ádám Ulbert, Tom Volkaert
Curated by Peter Bencze
It’s the year 3000 in the great southern forest of Neopangea, where animal-machine-human hybrids form a graceful community. The earth’s population is now at approx. 1 billion, due to multiple waves of pandemics starting in the 2020s. The cyborgian posthumans (approx. 25% of overall population) were created in the 2050s in a scientific-aesthetic experiment known as the “Graceful Project” in the image of timeless art historical shapes, such as Zsolnay porcelain figures and Oskar Schlemmer sculptures. Their purpose is to find a common language and balance between human and nonhumans, material, erotic, spiritual and virtual worlds.
Possessing an autonomous consciousness, empathy and an unconditioned sense of collective responsibility, they soon left behind the last metropolitan centres, organizing themselves into smaller communities or “dwellings” across the continent to start their mission of understanding the planet.
The salamander, once extinct through the chytrid fungus formation that destroyed 46% of the earth’s reptilian population between 2010-2050, has been neogenetically repopulated first in this forest area of Neopangea by its dwelling posthuman community. They have taken the salamander as their Kin Animal, similarly to other posthuman dwellings of Neopangea who have given birth to and/or chosen their main animal Kin. Daily rituals of observing with, playing with, learning with, mourning with, telling jokes with, making art and music with these salamanders is a matter of routine. The cyborgfauna-and flora of this region is especially diverse, including bionic tulip and dandelion colonies and cyborgian hummingbirds with a vast archive of playlists and Hits of the 2000s.
The complex eco/cybersystem of the forest is algorithmically perceived and engaged with by their community of posthumans. They tune into their semiorganic - semiartificial roots and communication channels and thus are able to share their language, living and working in peaceful collaboration with them towards their joint mission. According to them, the giant snails are the most gifted poets and have the best delivery of punchlines.
They all let each other live and die gracefully.
Story written by Sonja Teszler
Inspired by Ádám Ulbert, Botond Keresztesi, Tom Volkaert, Peter Bencze, Donna Haraway and COVID-19
Photo Aron Weber
Special thanks to Oli