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What begins as a
Phenomenological Inventory,
becomes a
Diffractive Experiment,
Multimodal - Touch - Stories.

When I observe and come close to a green, vegetal being, even without seeming to touch it, it enters into my body through my senses, and we come in closest contact. As I watch, its appearance, color and shape imprint themselves onto my retina, and the plant becomes a reflection, a memory, an extension of itself outside of itself and into me.  I look at the plant, knowing that all its leafy surfaces eat up the sunlight, transforming this heat into matter. I watch with my eyes and try to feel the transformations of the immaterial into the material, infrared into green pigments of chlorophyll.  As I put my ear close to a blade of grass, I hear how the wind blows through and around its thin, hollow leaves; in small vibrations my eardrum moves and I imagine it resonating specific organs and cavities deep in my body. I listen and can hear only a small range of frequencies, yet the plant emits much higher ones. So I listen with my ears and attempt to feel in my body these inaudible movements. 

These are my own perceptions of my body and a plant's body; however, as Merleau-Ponty articulates in his book "The Visible and the Invisible", there is something else behind the perceptions of the body I perceive that I cannot know or see or hear. I imagine this behind-ness as a kind of void, always beyond my comprehension, and following Karen Barad's queering of Quantum Field Theory, always intrinsically part - of the body. I begin to approach that void in my practice of phenomenologically, diffractively and multimodally coming closer/closest/touching plants. I begin to imagine what is behind the plant's perceptible attributes.  The more time I spend with each particular plant and in general with plants, I begin to notice the ways in which my own body's voluntary movements and thought processes begin to minimize and deaccelerate. Another kind of rhythm becomes prominent, and I wonder if my void is part - ly the parasympathetic nervous system, the subconscious, the not - yet conceived story?  I wonder how to touch these parts. 

If I consider touching to be not only the closest possible encounter of body surfaces, but a material/immaterial intra-action with our voids, might bodies be perceived not as bodies in that specific moment of touch, but as part - icular elements of minute pressure, heat, and sound in touch with each other and with the imperceptible - void? Might the awareness of touch alter the awareness of bodies; no longer entire body touching entire body, but index-fingertip touching centimeter-of-inner-bark touching dying-particles touching heat-red-carbon-green-oxygen touching behind-ness?


According to Barad, there is no such thing as touch; on a part - icle level, electrons magnetically repel each other. So I contemplate where the touch / repelling can occur and consider it a form of dialogue; which parts of me desire a multimodal conversation with which parts of the plant? In this developing dialogue, parts - of the theories of Barad graze parts - of the theories of Michael Marder: the encountering of all alterities and infinities by the implosive touching of oneself (Barad) with the radical openness or touching of all others of the plant (Marder). The plant and I are the macrocosmic stories of the electron. Scratching me, the plant scratches its void.  Embracing it, I embrace mine. 

Phenomenological Inventory
2020-08-14 14.01.38.jpg


dying elm with pitch
blackberry in your head 20Khz
blackberry touch turned chimes
Diffractive Dialogues
blackberry + ear 2.jpg
blackberry eyes closed.jpg
interior voice with highest vocal frequencies
I Am Vertical
by Sylvia Plath
But I would rather be horizontal.
Then the sky and I are in open conversation, 
And I shall be useful when I lie down finally:
Then the trees may touch me for once, and the flowers have time for me.
Multimodal - Touch -  Stories
Three artistic researches touch at OT301: Irina Baldini's Digital Shadows, Korina Kordova's Re-enchanment and my own, plant-human-touch. 
An image taken during my movement practice of touching-all-others. Letting Barad's article, "Trans*materialities", and Marder's book "Plant-Thinking: A Philosophy of Vegetal Life", overlap, I imagine an electron which, in imploding, touches itself, touches the void and touches all others, and the plant which, in having no interior, radically opens itself up to all others. I imagine, having no interior and no voice, and letting my perceivable surfaces open up in all directions, touching all (material/immaterial) others. I open myself up to the wooden oak floor, the plastic rocks belonging to Korina Kordova's research, the air, the aloe vera plant in the corner, memories of moving my body in that specific way before, and my ambition to sense a surface/part/void that I have not yet perceived
During the residency at OT301 in Amsterdam on March 14, 2021, I played sounds and multi-tracks I had recorded and composed at home, live in the gallery space. Each sound in the recordings comes from my own body touching a plant, then altered with effects.
My current movement practice has two parts; 1. exploring which organs and body parts resonate to specific frequency levels, and 2. touching-all-others. In this video, I listen to and choose one range of frequencies and move the corresponding body part, for example, 4khz - 8khz resonated in my chest and rib cage. When lying on the floor, I am listening to the lowest frequencies, about 50hz - 300hz. I attempted not only to locate the frequencies in my body but also correlate them to spatial levels; low being on the floor, middle in the crawling level, and so on. This was used as a movement score or framework which I could begin and return to, and also break. 
here and - 
here and - 
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