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Morphology of Debris

There is nothing that causes me as intense cognitive dissonance as the image of a mechanical body in the act of fragmentation.The image is an attack on my core sense of coherence while exhilarating in its potential for describing the embodied experience of what it is to have a physical body. For me, it is the most accurate depiction of my seeing, remembering, and thinking. I sense deterioration and loss of control of my body while observing the pseudo-death of the mechanical one, but it activates me. This is distasteful catharsis that situates the norm of the body itself as a deformity leads to antagonistic sympathy for the way the body exists. The first time I saw such an image, it was the hypothesized totality of the body, not the fragmented form, that truly became terrifying, so a condition of ruins became a more logical way for me to engage the body in my work.

I am building a new body that passes through dissociative thinking structures. The process begins by cutting paper into small geometric forms, adhering them to black paper, and cutting them out again, leaving behind a thin black outline as a trace of my gesture. By layering the pieces built in this way, a ‘Fragmentation Recording Device’ is invoked as a kind of information storage. The main function of this device is to record repeatedly layered outlines as scars of fragmentation. It is a self-organizing process that is autonomously patterned along with these scars, and as if it were akin to the spread of moss or lichen. The outer shell is fragmentary; the form is temporary; there can be no blueprint. The complexity arising here is an aesthetic strategy deployed for visual-anesthesia, which is to reveal fragmentation as excessive information and camouflage its materiality. The devices are then assembled and disassembled again to function as a body-suggesting another type of function; this re-arrangement process is an imagined migration of things that has no concept of settlement. The body is engineered by intertwining the moments of fragmentation because it is arranged along the outlines that different spatiotemporal scars leave behind.

Even now, the images of fragmented bodies are archived for me according to their ability to trigger sympathetic pain and pleasure that touches a peripheral nerve. My memory of these bodies is synonymous with this phantom pain experienced in the absence of a mutilated never fettered by a deluded totality of the body to mutilate. As with any phantom pain, there is no perfect treatment, so I have sought to construct my own mutant body (to inhabits the middle-position of “the body and non-body”) in hopes that it can suffer the pain in my place. I will continue this work, driven by the delusional will to encounter the perfect scarred mutant that shall reveal the deception of totality stemming from how bodies exist. Simultaneously, this is a pursuit undertaken with the hope of creating primordial paleontology of things that predate our contemporary notions of a physical body—a logical condition for these mutated bodies to inhabit.