VG BEURS RESEARCH
WHAT IS THIS ABOUT?
The proper subject of the posthuman convergence is not “Man”, but a new collective subject,
Posthuman Knowledge, Rosi Braidotti (2019)
In the past years of my artistic trajectory I have created hybrid SF (Speculative Fabulations and Science Fiction) stories, mainly around an erotic-bio-autonomous farming project: Beauty Kit:eco-erogenous para-pharmaceutics. Here I crossed the boundaries of art, biology, technology, agriculture and economics and became acquainted with new questions from the public. Which led me to think with them about the role different entities can play in the production of green electricity. Now I want to take this a step further, by practically reflecting on How to collectivise the ecstatic so that humans and more-than-human can charge?
In the midst of a prolonged pandemic and an accelerated post-natural reality, it is urgent to think about utopian eco-xeno-synth-tech entanglements and take action. With the global focus on climate and reduction of CO2 emissions, we have to come up with new
sources that can power the needs behind our contemporary lifestyle habits, optimising energy consumption both in the arts and in society.
With this grant I want to research on human body technologies that can generate sustainable power. Deepening my understanding of what eroticism can do in an inclusive artistic practice (beyond gender/racial/other differences). Inspired by philosophical post-humanisms, make use something every-body has and is one of the strongest sources of the body: sexual energy. In order to deconstruct the role of humans within an energy system, providing metaphorical, yet concrete alternatives to transhuman ideas of progress.
Over a two-year process I will create a physical and digital archive of performative, scientific, material, political and design data, around the speculation of an off-the-grid transmaterial village that centers in a power plant. A green power generator that converts sexual energy into electricity and produces hormones/molecules that enable humans to experience transdimensional realities. Moreover, with this village, imagine a self-regulating community of bodies, that like unstable electrons release energy in the process of power production, allowing ecstatic flow to cut through materials, welcoming *multiplicity and generating possibilities of *becoming. *(Trans-materiality concepts of doctor in theoretical physics and philosopher Karen Barad)
By conducting research in collaboration with a core team of artists, composed of Elke Van Campenhout (BE), Antye Guenther (DE) and Merel Noorlander (NE) and with specialists in hybrid narratives, queer sexology, scientists, engineers, designers, architects and Native American communities, i.e. Aymara, we cross-fertilize different knowledge within up-to-date research facilities.
For that the research is organised in 2 phases:
2022 Phase 1: Power Plant Body Practices & Technology
I. Body Practices
- Deepen the physical and affective potentials of what sexual energy is, by experimenting with Tantric and Taoist sexual Kung Fu body practices and techniques, which produce and transform brain orgasms into an ecstatic life experience.
- Envision safe spaces that could handle different subjectivities and offer transpersonal tools, from an inclusive sexological and psychological standpoint.
- Think on how to handle sex in a trans-specific mode, by including the more-than-human agencies of the body and surrounding species, from a post-human onto-epistemological perspective.
In collaboration with Antye Guenther, a German visual artist and researcher with a background in medicine, working with brain data reconstructions in visualisation software. Undergoing a practice based PhD at Maastricht University (NL).
- Carry out Tantra and Taoist Sexual Kung Fu Body practices experiments with selected invitees, in order to trace and understand the neuro-sexological path and its collaboration with the endocrine center of the brain. Responsible for the production of dopaminergic, serotonergic hormones, and potentially endogenous DMT responses.
- Experiment with the electrical conversion potentials of the nervous and anatomical electromagnetic and thermodynamic expressions, involved in the neurosexological path.
By having residencies at:
1. The neurophysiological and electrophysiological labs of Maastricht University's Cognitive Neuroscience Department, where we consult e.g. Professor Alexander Sack and his research group, leaders in EEG and brain stimulation. 2. Neuroendocrinology labs, which we will approach via the neuro-gendering network that Antye Guenther is part of. 3. Private electric engineering research facilities. To be found with the mentioned laboratories and by consulting Gluon Brussels and Waag Technology & Society Amsterdam.
Technology - consulting
Professor Alexandre Sack Maastricht University
Brain Stimulation and Cognition research group, Cognitive Neuroscience Department Maastricht University
2023 Phase 2: Village Morphology Materials & Sharing Research
- Research on regenerative architectonic systems, where humans in mental, physical and affective processes, could be molecularly incorporated into the agricultural system.
- Create a network of open knowledge that gathers materials references of makers, designers and indigenous communities, in order to archive sensorial, kinetic and durable materials that collect, generate and transfer energy.
- Experiment with 4D architectural open source softwares.
By having residencies at:
3. Antye Guenther’s studio in the Jan Van Eyck Academy Maastricht (NL), giving us access to research in the Future Materials and Food Labs, where to consult e.g. Marente Van der Valk, head of the Food Lab.
Future Materials Lab Jan Van Eyck Academy Maastricht - Giulia - materials
Food Lab Jan Van Eyck Academy Maastricht - Marente van der Valk head of Future Lab Van Eyck Academy Maastricht - food processes
II. Sharing Research
A. By having a research trajectory as an artist in wpZimmer Antwerpen (Jan 2022-July 2023):
1. I get the support of the curators: Gosie Vervloessemand and Ingrid Vranken, with whom we will organize meetings every two months, inviting the core research team and different partners to update the research and to speculate on: What are the roles of cross-pollination, collaboration, co-creation, curation, commission and authorship in this research? How do we regulate solidarity and exchange? What does the research incite? Could we eventually come up with a zero waste platform containing: artistic practices that focus on sustainability, or a recreational drugs production facility, or a retreat center, or a nomadic community? What artistic and political boundaries are we crossing with this research?
2. I will co-curate "Practicing Science Fiction" Topos Event (October 2022), which invites different artist working on practices and narratives that reflect on post-natural and post-human realities. The intention is to question what are we dealing with when Sci-Fi starts as a performative gesture that then becomes real?
B. By having residencies with the core research team at wpZimmer (July 2023) and with experts of the Rampa (science and technology) and bio-tehna (wetware) makers labs of Kersnikova Lubljiana (SI) (October 2023):
We will finalise the physical and digital archive containing the plant practices/technologies and the Village materials researches, to speculate on What are the differences and similarities between extracting, harvesting, transmitting and transfusing and experiment on the performative potentials of the archive's data.
C. By organising "Power, Art and Architecture" Event/Conference embedded in the network of Kanal - Centre Pompidou Brussels (December 2023): We will unpack performative elements and conceptual questions of the research's archive with the public for getting feedback.
ORGANISING RESIDENCIES AT - in process
-August or December 2022 - Rampa Lab Kersnikova Ljubljana & Biotehna Lab Kersnikova Ljubliana - dark room -
-February 2023 Workspace Brussels - Body practice
-May 2023 La Wayaka Current UK Residency Platform in the Atacama desert - material research and perspectives on installing first village in 2024 @ atacama dessert
-July 2023 - Wpzimmer Antwerp
- ? Waag Technology and society Amsterdam - technology
- ? Overtoon - technology