2021

UNSTABLE
PROTOCOLS

DNA AND MORPHOLOGICAL ARCHIVE

A daffodil flower is a three-dimensional map of an algorithm executed by DNA and RNA in the daffodil’s genome. The tips of the crinkly stem show the latest state of the algorithm unfolding in three-dimensional phase space. The base of the flower is a plot of the beginnings of the flower algorithm. Your face is a map of everything that happened to it.
– Timothy Moron, Hyperobjects

Unstable Protocols presents a new research chapter, in which the formation of the biological and informational body/archive of the FaceOrFactory corporation begins. It is composed of two interrelated parts: a DNA base, formed as a physical gallery archive and its digital extension – genetic information and photograms of faces archived within the virtual FaceOrFactory ecosystem. The interactive simulated environment, which the viewer can either explore at his own pace or he can be guided through and within which he can gradually discover a broad spectrum of technical and content layers, establishes the base for future development.

Unstable Protocols thus researches the form and structural characteristics of the archive, storage and categorisation of sensitive information, while trying to destabilise the existing archiving practices. In the constant transition between the archive, body and space it plays with the possibilities of digital faces, morphological layering and genetic chimerism of new face entities.

Face is a sign of identity, a medium of expression and a place of representation. It is a culture of cells and information, pixels and genetic algorithms, spread over pages of personal documents and biometric archives. In three-dimensional space, a face is stretching over human body in order to create a particular, local sphere, determined by separate and variable units, morphemes. Face can be plastically transformed, smoothed, seized and supplemented.

But, a face is not motionless like a mask of biological and social individuality – it is dissolving beyond the sphere of its cranium. As a liquefied mass of genetic code and morphological features, it is decanting into imperceptible, dispersed space of information, algorithmic relations, clouds of computational procedures, networks, cryptomarket nad UVA rays.

Face is becoming a space, environment, ambient. It creates and it is created beyond itself: together with other objects, concepts and materials, it is separating and melting itself into »an open system without center or edge.«

Hyperobjects are phased: they occupy a high-dimensional phase space that makes them impossible to see as a whole on a regular three-dimensional human-scale basis. We can only see pieces of hyperobjects at a time. The reason why they appear nonlocal and temporally foreshortened is precisely because of this transdimensional quality. We only see pieces of them at once, like a tsunami or a case of radiation sickness.

What we experience as a lava-lamp fluidity—flowing and oozing metaphors abound in the new materialism—is precisely a symptom of our less than adequate perception of higher dimensions of structure, which is where the hyperobjects live.

Hyperobjects are thus like our experience of a pool while swimming. Everywhere we are submersed within the pool, everywhere the cool water caresses our body as we move through it, yet we are nonetheless independent of the water. We produce effects in the water like diffraction patterns, causing it to ripple in particular way.

- Timothy Morton, Hyperobjects

A face must peel off of its foundation and become a part of a high-dimensional, relational network through which it is being generated. Our understanding of the face must be broader, integrated into the field of genetic pool of DNA phlegm and technological interlacements. Crossing between biology, cometics, politics, law and economy, we must formulate it through the prism of architecture and ecology. By ecology, we mean unveiling political and ethical relations between organisms and environment in hyper-technologized world without Nature, marked by » increasingly fungible quality of everything in a hypercapitalist, nanotechnological age of bioengineering and genomics in which everything might be capable of being liquefied into everything else. This fungibility increases the compulsion towards the total domination of life forms.« (Timothy Morton, Ecologocentrism: Unworking Animals)

Solaris is ambient art at its finest - environmental art without Nature. The encounter with the sentient real of the environment-turned person is staged at the formal level as the aesthetic encounter with the medium of transmission itself - the material density of the film surface. It is as if Kris leaps out of the film's content and into its form, deciding to live on the surface of the film stock itself. In this sense he traverses the fantasy and commits to living in the traumatic, impossible real environment that is the person of Solaris.

We need a rhetorical term like “anti-anamorphosis” or “dedeformation,” a kind of metalepsis or “un-metaphor,” to evoke the double twist in which what is ambient and environmental turns into what is frontal and singular.

- Timothy Morton, Ecologocentrism: Unworking Animals

What are the possibilities of ecology without Nature and models of person-environment in the field of faciality, facial system? Genetic-data facial structure, stretched over its material boundaries and dispersed into porous surface of strains and metamorphoses is traversing and becoming an imperceptible architecture of space we are inhabiting – fluid, flexible, viscid, artificial. Face as a place of identification, which now turns into an ambient, is not only changing our conception of envirnonment or nature but also identity itself, critically approaching current identity politics »A sense of the world’s volatility and artificiality seems to have faded from contemporary queer and feminist politics, in favour of a plural but static constellation of gender identities, in whose bleak light equations of the good and the natural are stubbornly restored. /.../ If ‘cyberspace’ once offered the promise of escaping the strictures of essentialist identity categories, the climate of contemporary social media has swung forcefully in the other direction, and has become a theatre where these prostrations to identity are performed. With these curatorial practices come puritanical rituals of moral maintenance, and these stages are too often overrun with the disavowed pleasures of accusation, shaming, and denunciation.

Laboria Cuboniks, Xenofeminism: A Politics for Alieanation

ARCHITECTURE : ARCHIVE
CHOREOGRAPHY : PROTOCOL

A pool of DNA information, juridical documents and agreements, pointclouds and facial scans.

How to spatially organize it in an archive, a place of saving and production, a potent field of knowledge, power, privacy, politics and abuse?

An archive which serves as a generator of a parasitic personhood:

a) A parasitic personhood, which is created by feeding off of the archive’s content and high-dimensional objective world.

b) Decentralized, parasitic personhood which exist only as a network, a database.

c) Decentralized, parasitic personhood, which exists only through a specific choreography of interlaced protocols, modifications and data inputs.

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Intervention in more obviously material hegemonies is just as crucial as intervention in digital and cultural ones. Changes to the built environment harbour some of the most significant possibilities in the reconfiguration of the horizons of women and queers. As the embodiment of ideological constellations, the production of space and the decisions we make for its organization are ultimately articulations about ‘us’ and reciprocally, how a ‘we’ can be articulated. With the potential to foreclose, restrict, or open up future social conditions, xenofeminists must become attuned to the language of architecture as a vocabulary for collective choreo-graphy – the coordinated writing of space.

- Laboria Cuboniks, Xenofeminism: A Politics for Alienation

CHIMERA

was a fire-breathing monster, which, according to the Homeric poems, was of divine origin. She was brought up by Amisodarus, king of Caria, and afterwards made great havoc in all the country around and among men. The fore part of her body was that of a lion, and the hind part that of a dragon, while the middle was that of a goat. According to Hesiod, she was a daughter of Typhaon and Echidna, and had three heads, one of each of the three animals before mentioned, whence she is called trikephalos or trisômatos.

GENETIC CHIMERA

or genetic chimerism is a single organism composed of cells with more than one distinct genotype. In 2017, Taylor Muhl found out she has a condition called chimerism, meaning she has two sets of DNA, each with the genetic code to make a separate person. Doctors have told Muhl that she has "two immune systems and two bloodstreams," meaning cells in her immune system and her blood have two sets of DNA.

Rheya is literally a text, information written in material flesh, and like a text, she is utterly reproducible. We see the "genotext" (the spurting matter) and the "phenotext" (simulacra) at the same time . Or to translate Kristeva's language back into the language of biology we see the genotype (genetic material) and the phenotype (what this material "expresses" from enzymes to organisms) at once. It is as if we were watching replication, onto which were superimposed layers of information. Of course, this is what actually does occur at the genomic level. Given such a harrowing proximity between hardware and software, between mimoid and apparently sentient being, can we call Rheya a person or even a subject? Again, this is animality up close: DNA, RNA, and enzymes can operate simultaneously both as hardware and as software. The symbolic language of "life" is encoded directly in the real.

- Timothy Morton, Ecologocentrism: Unworking Animals

A daffodil flower is a three-dimensional map of an algorithm executed by DNA and RNA in the daffodil’s genome. The tips of the crinkly stem show the latest state of the algorithm unfolding in three-dimensional phase space. The base of the flower is a plot of the beginnings of the flower algorithm. Your face is a map of everything that happened to it.

- Timothy Moron, Hyperobjects

CREDITS

3D modeling and animation: Lara Reichmann, Jan Krek

Sound: Gašper Torkar

Programming UE4: Gaj Žižek

Programming AI: Tomaž Šimnovec

Design and development of web site: Marko Damiš

The exhibition, produced by Kapelica Gallery / Kersnikova Institute, is a part of the ‘European ARTificial Intelligence Lab’ project, supported by the Creative Europe Program of the European Union, Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia, Ministry of Public Administration of the Republic of Slovenia and Municipality of Ljubljana – Department for Culture.

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UNSTABLEPROTOCOLS
UNSTABLEPROTOCOLS

A FACE WITH ANY OTHER
NAME WOULD SELL AS SWEET.

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