Every frame of this short video has been hand painted and it consists of around 300 frames. Details of each and every frame of this very short animation shapes the structure of my cosmopolitics in my PhD research.
‘Impossible dance’ reflects on the philosophy of kinship, identity, marginalization and survival in the most troubled times…it is cosmopolitics as thinking with nature, thinking with pigeons.
It was partly inspired by Efva Lilja’s artistic research – ‘100 exercises for the choreographer and other survivors’ (a booklet that suggests 100 exercises to reflect on the relationship between body and mind, a joyful way of examining the performativity of the body in daily life). It also draws on the work of Donna Haraway (the chapter Reliable Voyageurs from ‘Staying with the trouble.’)
Companion species infect each other all the time. Pigeons are world travelers, and such beings are vectors and carry many more, for good and ill. Bodily ethical and political obligations are infectious, or they should be. Cum panis, companion species, at table together. Why tell stories like my pigeon tales, when they are only more openings and no bottom lines? Because they are quite definite response-abilities that are strengthen in such stories.
The details matter. The details link actual beings to actual response-abilities. As species, racers, messengers, urban neighbors iridescent sexual exhibitionists, avian parents, gender assistant for people, scientific subjects and objects, art-engineering environmental reporters, search and rescue workers at sea, imperialist invader, discriminatory of painting styles, native specifies , pets, and more, around the earth pigeons and their parents of many kinds, including people, make history.
Each time a story helps me remember what I thought I knew or introduces me to new knowledge a muscle critical for caring about flourishing gets some aerobic exercise. Such exercise enhances collective thinking and movement in complexity. Each time I trace a tangle and add a few threads that at first seems whimsical but turned out to be essential to the fabric, I get a bit straighter that staying with the trouble of complex worlding is the name of the game of living an dying well together on terra, in Terrapolis.
We are all responsible to and for shaping conditions for multispecies flourishing in the face of terrible histories, and sometimes joyful histories too, but we are not all response-able in the same ways. The differences matter, in ecological, economies, species, lives.
If only we could all be so lucky as to have a savvy artist design our lofts, our homes, our messaging packs! If only we all had a map sense to navigate in the troubled times and places “
—Donna J. Haraway, Staying with the trouble, making kin in Chthulucene, pp.29