Stephanie Moran

Performance still, 'Closer'

Transtechnology Research,
Room B312 Portland Square,
University of Plymouth,
Drake Circus,
Plymouth,
PL4 8AA.

www.marmalade-undertaking.com

@alien_ontology

https://eticlab.co.uk/

Stephanie Moran is an artist and writer. She completed a Postgraduate Diploma at Cyprus College of Art and an MFA in Fine Art at Goldsmiths College, London. She is a 3D3-funded MPhil/PhD candidate as part of the Transtechnology Research Group at Plymouth University.

 

Symbiont Encounters: Ecological Fictioning and Networked Media

This project to produce an experimental eco-sci-fi novel of sorts explores the use of technologies for imaginatively inhabiting ‘interspecies’ sensory perception and cognition, and how digital platforms may be repurposed for these ends. Interspecies or ‘symbiont’ beings, following Donna Haraway’s Children of Compost (Haraway, 2016), are humans that have been bodily modified with genes and microorganisms of an endangered species.

This experimental novel explores the qualities of translocal online groups and communities, from the ‘real time’ interactivity, duration and attention to presentness of 3D environments, to the asynchronous partial immersion of a networked group. It will experiment with AR and VR technologies and platforms. Following Benjamin Bratton’s ‘accidental megastructure’ theory of global computation, I will test how a range of specific platforms shape user behavior, looking in particular at the qualities and affective impacts of different levels of platform immersion on collective narrative construction.

It will investigate possibilities for experiencing extra-human sensory perception and extra-human, disidentifying kinship structures – that is, structures that do not rely on group identification. I will explore how networked identity politics strategies may be applied to open out, de-individuate and de-anthropocise the group, using the group as a model for radical embrace of difference rather than a closed identity-specific group. I think about differentiation through feminist theories of diffraction (Haraway, 1992; Barad, 2007) and Trinh T Minh-Ha’s post- and de-colonial feminist concept of the Inappropriate(d) Other (Minh-Ha, 1989, 2013).

Following Bogost (2012) and Shaviro’s (2016) different takes on Nagel’s How to Think Like a Bat (1974), and current multispecies ethnographic practices in anthropology (Tsing, 2015; Tsing, Swanson, Gan, et al., 2017), the narrative will move away from ‘identity and display’ to a posthuman and nonhuman politics of dis-identity, via avatars and science-fictional speculative approaches.

 

Current Work

Interspecies Twitter bot with Etic Lab, using rules developed from @alien_ontology’s alien freshwater pearl mussel feed, but the bot will constitute an interspecies crow-human. The text material is extracted from scientific papers describing the species’ sensory perception, environmental responses, behavior and cognition. It will also apply rules taken from a human dataset describing sensory perception, environmental responses, behavior and cognition.

Skullcracker Suite Ballet, online hypertext sci-fi ballet with sonic drone score by sound engineer Chris Hind. Currently working on part two for an immersive platform and exhibition, Most Dismal Swamp 002: Whale Fall, curated by Dane Sutherland (Gossamer Fog Gallery, Feb 2019)

Interspecies Disco, with Maggie Roberts, Joseph Walsh, Kirsten Cooke and Chris Hind; to take place at Dilston Grove/CGP London November 2018. Following on from Swamp Living immersive workshop at IMT Gallery, part of Maggie Roberts’ solo show. London May 2018.

Art Editor, The Ecological Citizen, a peer-reviewed ecological open access journal.

 

References

Barad, K. (2007). Meeting the Universe Halfway,

Bogost, I (2012). Alien Phenomenology

Bratton, B. (2016). The Stack: On Software and Sovereignty

Haraway, D. (1992).’The Promises of Monsters: A Regenerative Politics for Inappropriate/d Others’, Grossberg, Nelson, and Treichler, eds., Cultural Studies

Haraway, D. (2016). Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Cthulucene

Minh-Ha, Trinh T. (1989). Woman, Native, Other. Writing postcoloniality and feminism. Indiana University Press

Minh-Ha, Trinh T. (2013). D-Passage: The Digital Way

Shaviro, S. (2016) Discognition.

Tsing, Swanson, Gan, et al., eds. (2017). Arts of Living on a Damaged Planet