Aladin Borioli

Rapid Response Fellow 2020 - 2020

What do you plan to do during Phase 1 of Rapid Response?

During Phase 1, I will develop a web platform which is nominal idea of the project and the platform will be the art piece itself.

How does your work relate to the theme of the open call?

This particular work aims to create a space, a refuge in the biological sense of the term, where humans are able to encounter bees on a more egalitarian basis without the need of proximity. « Intimacy without proximity » is an idea developed by Jacob Metcalf while studying grizzly bears and I believe that it is how great value today. While the need to avoid proximity with giant bears that can eat you alive seems quite obvious what about when the danger comes from us? Are certain types of relationships need to avoid physical proximity? And in this case, how can keep we develop intimate relationships without physical proximity. Broadly speaking, « The Intimacy Machine » is the idea of turning upside down a profit-driven technology used for managing bee colonies into a machine which will create a space on the Internet where we can develop aesthetic encounters with bees. However, why should we get interested into such thing, technological apparatus that develop the risk to break an ontological dance beekeepers are conducting with bees for thousand years? I would use the words of Anna Tsing and say because there is politics in the making of these technologies and we should not leave private companies and profit-driven ideologies decide for us. Simultaneously, the idea is to reimagine the digital representation of non-humans. Their digital representation is ambivalent, at the same time, they are what we can call digital obese they are on our computer background for their beauty or they make us laugh on videos; on the other hand, they truly lack proper representations outside classical metaphor and clichés. How can we allow humans to create more intimate and thoroughness interspecies relationships. My work precisely aims to explore the possibility of finding spaces within these digital technology, spaces not yet inhabit by technocapitalist ideology, and through these spaces propose new way of living with non-humans.

What does the future look like to you?

I believe we are at a tipping point in history and to be honest we are mostly doomed. However there are some hopes to emerge in the ruins around us (see Eben Kirksey and Anna Tsing). The question now, is how can we, locally and in collaboration with humans and non-humans, do something? The following quote, I believe, sum-up a really important point nowadays: ‘In this context, it does not seem to be enough to say that ‘we are all bound up in a relationship of dependence in a multispecies world.’ The brand of holistic ecological philosophy that emphasises that ‘everything is connected to everything’ will not help us here. Rather, everything is connected to something, which is connected to something else (Rose 2008:56). While we may all ultimately be connected to one another, the specificity and proximity of connections matter–who we are bound up with and in what ways.’ (van Dooren, Thom. 2014 (2016). ‘Flight Ways: Life and loss at the edge of extinction.’ Columbia University Press; 60) (Rose, Deborah Bird. 2008. ‘Judas Work: Four Modes of Sorrow.’ Environmental Philosophy 5, no. 2:51-66) So how can we value and help specific relations to flourish?

What is your grounding ethos?

Basically, I’m coming from an art field, and I quickly realised that art wasn’t enough, at least not for me. Hence, I decided to develop and get my work closer to the humanities, in order to be able to ground it to something more theoretical and at the same time more concrete in a certain way; humanities allow me to develop a discourse and then being listen to, even if it’s at a really low level. I keep doing art because I believe that it helps me to spread the thinking and my ideas into other fields and to a broader audience. I would say that my ethos would be to try as hard as possible to develop research/projects.. however we want to call them, that could help to think, help to create refugia where we can privilege certain ideas over others.