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Intertwining Rhythm, Protoliths and Metamorphic Bodies — by Ygor Anario

Updated: Oct 17, 2021





Our current body is a body in transition. It can be perceived based on the idea of the “instant-already” as written by the Brazilian author Clarice Lispector. The “instant-already” is something “so fleeting that it is no longer because now it has become a new instant-already that is also no longer” [1].


In the midst of an ever-increasing flow of data and exponential informational transformations, one could foolishly assume that such a body supposedly does not change. Nevertheless, it has

another rhythm. Would that rhythm be of a geological order? If so, is a body like metamorphic rocks that undergo transformations when subjected to heat/temperature, pressure, fluids, and time itself?


Rhythm was the word Francesca Ferrando singled out from my artistic project. With that word in mind, I continued thinking departing from the following questions: What is rhythm? How does it relate to the non-fixed concept of the human? And how does it take part in the transformations of humans and non-humans? What are its connections with (deep) time? Also, how does rhythm relate to existence?


Frequently, the notion of rhythm can be traced very close to definitions that are based on biology, as expressed through the regularity of walking and heartbeats. Some would say that the rhythm of the heartbeat is preceded by affection, since the latter is directly related to and acts upon the former. I wonder if in these cases some kind of dualism is present, between what is natural and what is artificial. But I also wonder what would a rhythm of affection be and what rhythm would it contain? Rhythm comes from the Greek word Rhythmos which denotes a recurring movement.



However, let us now turn to another Greek word, to what the early thinkers sought to characterize as arkhé. Arkhé can contain several meanings at the same time: “be it as matter, the stuff of which the world is made; be it the beginning as the inception, the first movement that gave rise to all things; be it the beginning as that which governs the existence of all things at all times, in their origin, in their present, in their finality; be it the destination, unique or not, toward which all things tend and are directed in their movements" [2].


One can notice here a desire in explaining not only the heterogeneity and multiplicity of things existing in the world, but also the movement that makes them exist, that constitutes them, that transforms one thing into another. The desire not only to explain the origin of the world, but also of its order — cosmos — that lies beneath all things. Governing its movements; not only the generator entity, but also the regulating idea of every process of generation and degeneration, of formation and destruction of all things [3].


Arkhé connects us to the beginning, to the primeval movement that gave origin to all things, to which rhythm is immanent. Rhythm, alongside movement, is what makes things to be, what constitutes them, what transforms one thing into another. I say again: a process of generation and degeneration, formation and destruction of all things.


Almost a year ago, I was trying to conduct a collection of initial ideas that would result in an art project. I animated 3D stereolithographic digital files depicting bodies, and juxtaposed them by images resembling geological sediments, but prior to that I wrote the following poem. It is called >0 (greater than zero).



When the human made himself nucleal, / Rejected evolution to inhumanity. / Disengaged from deep time, / Humans remained idealistically detached from a continuous process. / Although acceleration is > 0 / And 'speed' describes the era, / In its compulsory duality, / Paradoxically, / Body suggests an end. / A sediment devoid of imminence. / Is there greatness in this vision of life?


Our body is a body in transition, in a continuous process of metamorphism. Metamorphism is the set of bodying processes that leads to the formation of metamorphic bodies. These processes involve transformations undergone by bodies when subjected to heat/temperature, pressure, relational embodiment and time.


Unlike metamorphic rocks which start from a prime rock, the protolith, our “protolith” is unknown, non-existent or indicates hybridization. It could be the mixture of all things from the event that sparked the universe.

The following paragraph is a conclusive détournement of Lispector’s text [4].



I tell you: I am trying to capture the fourth dimension of the body that is so fleeting that it is no longer because it has now become a new body that is also no longer. Each body has an instant in which it is. I want to take possession of the is of the body. Those instants in which the body is take place in the air that I breathe: in fireworks they burst mute in space. I want to possess the atoms of time. And I want to capture the present that by its very nature is forbidden to me: the present escapes me, actuality escapes me, actuality is me always in the already-now.


 

[1] Lispector, Clarice, Água Viva (São Paulo: Círculo do Livro, 1973), p. 7–8.

[2] Chauí, Marilena; Feres, Olgária Chaim; Leopoldo e Silva, Franklin; Mariconda, Pablo Rubén; Oliveira, Armando Mora de; Nascimento, Milton Meira; Assis, Jesus Eugênio de Paula; Plastino, Caetano Ernesto; Nascimento, Carlos Arthur Ribeiro do; Watanabe, Lygia Araujo, Primeira Filosofia: Lições Introdutórias (São Paulo: Brasiliense, 1984), p. 18.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Lispector, Clarice, Água Viva (São Paulo: Círculo do Livro, 1973), p. 7–8.


 

Ygor Anario (1996) is a brazilian artist based in Natal, Brazil. Using various media such as drawing, software, video, sculpture, and performance in his artistic practice, he engages with technology as something widespread — different from the repetitive initial confrontation implied in the meme “the intersection of art and technology” — which permeates us and needs to be better understood, criticized, shared, and redesigned. He was a member in the research project “Arte em Contexto e Transformação Social” (Art in Context and Social Transformation, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte, 2019), surveying the relations between institutional critique, artivism, urban intervention and public art. He was a collaborator in the interdisciplinary project Imagem & Espaço (Space and Image, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte, 2018), with focus in the co-extensive territory between Visual Arts and Cinema. Since 2016, he has been a member of the Zeitgeist, a contemporary art research group focused on artistic practices oriented to institutional criticism and art in context. Exhibitions include “Confluências” (2020), Câmara Cascudo Museum; “Bitácora” (2018), Bólide 1050; "Dexobjeto" (2017), Gallery of the UFRN's Arts Department.

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