and, of course, has a space in this blog:
BEYOND WIRES AND CABLES: ON THE PERFORMANCE NAMED METASUBCIBERTRANS
By Dolores Galindo
Abstract: This is a text produced by means of a dialogue with the Metasubcibertrans work (2007, 2008) by performer Fabiane Borges. It alternates between description and invention – neither art critique nor a theoretical essay. It is inserted only as a text-affectation. It approaches the technical precariousness – wires and cables that do not connect – as an element that singularizes the artist’s work and inscribes it as a trope in order to approach the deconstruction of dichotomies based on sex and the technological dream of connection as a necessity.
A body to which technical apparatuses are precariously tied1
In the breasts, some mouses. In the stomach, a motherboard. In the mouth, connection ports. In the vagina, a mouse. In the head, a felt hat. In the lap, words written with a red lipstick. And then, undoing identity signs, a mask composes two eyes. There is the replication of the penis in the mouse. There is the replication of the mouth in the connection port. There is the replication of stomach in the motherboard. There is the replication of breasts in the mouses. There is the replication of face in the mask. And, here, replication is what is opposed to representation, not to difference.2
In replication, there is a syntagm composed through the disposal of the meta, sub, cyber and trans prefixes in which the first one displaces the others from their literal function.3 Is escapes the logic of classification by oppositions, to the need of connection.
We come across a socio-technical device made with parts and cables that do not connect. The power of the performance is not about the improvement of potentialities of interactivity or the symbiosis between body and machine – the apparatuses are obsolete. From the precariousness, inscribed in the adoption of the sub prefix, comes most of the performance potency. Does the Metasubcibertrans dream about wearable computers, linked to so many other devices? The wires – let us repeat – do not connect. Some apparatuses are also yellowish due to time’s action. Would the Metasubcibertrans have run away from a not materialized technological dream?4
In the hybrid, we see indistinctly the breasts. Viewing the legs contour legs makes sex a creation and relation potential. Sex is also obsolete before the unstable arrangement made with adhesive ribbon. A metafiction is viewed that questions the limits of sex as an identity pointer and the communication network as a civilizating utopia. That time, the inscription is in the cyber prefix, and as questions a member of the g2g5, the group the performer participates – would cyberfeminism have come to Latin America? Is the trope cyborg used our context for deconstructing sex/genre dichotomies and technologically based power relations?6
The used technical apparatuses do not compose a exoskeleton or are introduced into the flesh deeper layers. The performance happens in the skin surface. The voice is constrained by the connection ports whose cables surround the neck and “install” constrictions to the movement. The device that connects is the same one that testifies the insufficiency that affects the use of the communication networks. The mouse interposes to the vulva. What one needs is not a new body part, to say it in some way, but to displace the hegemonic symbolic linked to sexual difference (heterosexual) and allow for a critical perspective, alternative imaginary schemes that enable to constitute erogenous pleasure spaces.7
As in Dali’s Minotaure,8 the trans body shapes itself by undoing the clear contours that separates feminine from masculine, human being from animal and machine. Does the Metasubcibertrans dream of “itself” as a cyborg? Mouses interpose to the breasts and two children are holded in its arms – they perform to the camera.
Tied with wires and cables, the performer do not establishes a connection to other device – the body holds the apparatuses. In the cables that come from the analogical ports no information beams run. Performance and politics interlace in a body that places at the edges of the technological flows of communication. Does the Metasubcibertrans dream of binary-information beams traveling the cables that tie “it’? One has an open source, unstable, body.9
The creature does not agonize, but smiles inertly – a horizontal line extended through the face. A ritual figuration is installed. The imperfect junction body- apparatuses delineates a “phageous” gesture.
In the performance named Cyberpsicomagia,10 the ribbon that tied the mouth of the creature disappears. A space opens for a laconic speech that oscillates between lucidity and delirium. Binary codes interrupt the voice flows. Victoria Synclair interviews the Metasubcibertrans, which this time does not present technical apparatuses anymore. Remains the mask, in which one only sees indistinctly the mouth, and electric discharges create codifiable sounds:
Miserable and divine creature. The Yanomami people11 touched me very delicately. They opened my motherboard. They had learned on the criteria of evolution. My body was an experimental object. For them to understand why we do not believe in evolution12 (Borges, 2008).
Aboriginal spirits begin to populate “it’. In a previous performance, the artist already had invoked the Guarani Kaiowá Indians from Mato Grosso, which, in the absence of worthy alternatives of life, commit ritual suicide. Those are the Indians that open “it’ and examine minutely the motherboard tied to the pelvis.
The hybrid body converts itself into an experimental object. About what do the Indians who open “it” dream? They touch “it”, delicately, in a disenchanted gesture – an experiment gesture. Once dreamed, the Indians are incorporated to the artist’s unlimited laboratory – technomagos that act in the machinic and oniric interfaces (Synclair, 2008).
The carcass of the computer mixes to the viscosity of foods. Obsolete, perishable. We pass to another agency – Indians, foods and carcasses.13
The creature agonizes. There are no more wires. There are no more cables. There is only the imperative of connection – machinic and spiritual flows cross “it”. Wires, cables and garments are displayed with no bodily support. An autonomization of the apparatuses happens regarding the bodily order.
Thus, as happens with slaughtered animals, the Metasubcibertrans has “its” skin strained in the tannery.
Meshes, Wires, cables and flows are tied in an allegory. Now they remove from me the flesh covering, they drain all the blood, they hone the bones in luminous wires and there am I (…) resembling myself. A rough draft.14
BORGES, F. Fala da Metasubcibertrans. Available: www.cassandras.blogspot.com. Accessed: 03/12/2008.
BUTLER, J. Identificiación fantasmática y la asunción del sexo. Em: Cuerpos que importam: sobre los límites materiales y discursivos del ‘sexo’. Buenos Aires, Paidós, 2002.
DELEUZE, G. Como hacerse um cuerpos in órganos? In: Mil Mesetas: capitalismo y esquizofrenia. Espanha, Pré-textos.
GALINDO, Dolores Sobre os ciborgues como figuras de borda. Athenea Digital. nº 4. 2003
HANSON, Julie Drag Kinging: Embodied Acts and Acts of Embodiment. Body & Society, Vol. 13, No. 1, 61-106 , 2007
HARAWAY, Donna Ciência, Cyborgs y mujeres: La reinvencion de la naturaleza. Madrid, Ediciones Catedra, 1991.
PELBART, Pelbart Música e Repetição.In: Vida Capital: Ensaios de biopolítica. São Paulo, Iluminuras, 2003.
SINCLAIR,Vitoria. Entrevista com a Metasubcibertrans. Available: www.cassandras.blogspot.com. Accessed: 03/12/2008.
PhD, Social Psychology.
To Fabiane Borges for the many conversations we had during the production of this text.