El peligro de las arañas

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8WiRbX2jRRI

por Claudio Valdés Mujica

Cada pelo es una idea en las ocho manos de una araña. Gracias a ellos caminan por el techo y extienden el tacto al aire, agua o tierra. La coreografía del pelo la mantiene en equilibro de defensa y ataque, debido a su fragilidad llevan venenos para triunfar en un movimiento.

Del mismo modo hay tantas arañas como tipos de sedas, una moderna, por ejemplo, usa un lazo que rota con una pata y pueda cazar polillas. Ardides específicos del hábitat, que, en el caso de la araña tejedora, sitúa denunciando las rutas de vuelos, por ello ubica los radios para que converjan en la captura anterior, como un apostador de ruleta. Por ello siempre cambian la simetría del chicle de acero, las arañas matamoscas, trabajan una hora, primero con cuerdas de seguridad y luego con lo invisible que anudan con especial cuidado para no tocarlo.

Otras crean embudos, agujeros negros, que, conectados a una gran área de seda, le permiten morder en el instante que ya traen su presa a la guarida, la seda incluso es usada como arpa para seducir a ciertas hembras que por su oreja y por su grandeza reciben a machos suicidas en sus colmillos, todo por reproducirse.

La seda que registra los desplazamientos, que permite sentir por su medio, suspender la realidad y reproducirla, son funciones compartidas con las investigaciones que ensanchan el espacio cultural al desplazamiento.  La red es suficientemente flexible para balancear elefantes o llamar a una cosa por otra, de esta manera el cambio se mantiene sin podrirse. Establece un medio seguro para trabajar y descansar a la vez, de tal modo que una araña escucha serenatas o un hombre habla por celular. Establece preferencias de diseño, según la eficacia y hábitat de la obra, que supera las envolturas planas y que abrigan al Mahoma que luego de ver todo su cuerpo bajo una telaraña, supo que en la geometría estaba Dios.

Este laberinto nunca deja de crecer, como el genoma que llevan por trecientos ochenta millones de años y que sigue inventando oficios. Nosotros vemos por contraste ciertos desplazamientos, como la materia oscura entre las galaxias, pero el artista es otra araña presa de su red cultural, que él mismo diseña y que acelera hasta la reproducción. El veneno que agota toda la azúcar del corazón es el veneno que consume de otros bichos para la cena.

Thoughts following the interview by the University of Chile (Santiago, December 2016)

http://www.artes.uchile.cl/noticias/130396/la-hipotesis-del-supercontinente-gondwana-un-programa-de-residencias

by Francisca Moenne

We all know what an interview is. It is a narrative built on questions that is more or less guided and controlled by the interviewer.

Originally a journalistic form, today the interview is becoming a device for fictional narrative, an anthropological instrument, a way of portraying reality through a disguised conversation that, to my belief, is close to the way colonies historically recorded and mapped the Southern lands. Yes, I admit that as per today, I still associate anthropology to colonialism and maybe this is why as an artist and as a curator, I try to stay as far as I can possibly can from it.

But how do interviews, anthropology and art relate? Their link may be found in geology.

In 2008, the term Anthropocene was introduced to describe the current geological era. What we had known as the Holocene formally came to an end in 2011 when ‘the new’ was accepted by the Geological Society of the United States. It was then that science and art found a middle ground to converse and that middle ground was in reality a new media: the human being. The interesting thing is that this point of conversion between art and science came, once again, from looking  into the linearity of the timeline: so while science was looking forwards into a new geological era, art was suddenly looking backwards and considering Aboriginal art into its contemporary discourse. I leave that there, for reflection.

In the meantime, and in between discussions about whether or not to accept the Anthropocene as a new geological era, Finnish PhD student Arnd Schneider and British Visual Anthropologist Christopher Wright – were quick to publish on the subject - see “Between Art and Anthropology: Contemporary Ethnographic Practice”, 2010 and “Anthropology and Art Practice”, 2013. These two works were published by Blumsbury Academic, a British worldwide publishing house.  

Going further back, and much before the declaration of the Anthropocene, French philosopher Bruno Latour was longtime setting the base for a dialogue between science and the human. Always travelling on the margins of science, sociology and ethnography, Latour inevitably encountered the Anthropocene and his work extended to reflections around ecology, biodiversity and climate change. After publishing “Politics of Nature: how to bring sciences into Democracy” in 2004, his work increased its collaborative character, and finally also found a link to contemporary art. On this last connection, all I know comes from I a lecture he gave at the Tasmanian College for the Arts in Hobart in 2016. I was looking forward to the event but unfortunately all I sensed was a void, an imposition of anthropology over art, an over celebration of the celebrity and ultimately, a lack of comprehension of the consequences of this new-born marriage. It was just a sensation, but one that left me thinking.

So, in relation to contemporary art my questions today are: have artists, curators and art critics become anthropologists? Are residency programs a disguised form of colonialism? Is it legitimate for artists to depict, film and interview members of other cultures for the sake of an investigation that will then be interpreted and inscribed in the contemporary art discourse by others? Is it legitimate for art critics to base their writing on the friendship that inevitably develops between them and the artists? Where do we place the starting point so that we can address these issues?

I don’t have an answer to these questions. All I know is that if we don't identify the line that separates art from anthropology– better, if we are not conscious that there is one – we will never be able to escape the anthropological eye. 

Black Matter © 2017