(desktop compatible only, turn up the volume for the full experience)
Thicker Than Blood Digital is the third iteration of the ongoing research project and immersive exhibition series Thicker Than Blood. This online game interrogates carceral logic, intimate partner abuse, disability politics, the abuse of language and affective technologies by state mechanisms and invites the player to question how we allow ourselves to become complicit in justifying and reproducing state violence.
Developed during the COVID-19 lockdown, this work was commissioned by Oyoun Berlin for their group show ESCAPISM and exhibited as part of an immersive installation with bookable slots for gamers to access in-person over the course of month in 2021. By making it free and accessible anywhere online, it remains true to the wider project’s participatory and audience-focused roots.
This work was developed in collaboration with sound artist and collaborator Raymond Jennings and programmer Alex Kempton.
Thicker Than Blood is an ongoing research project and participatory series of exhibitions that hijacks practices of analysis and categorisation by curating the ex- periences of participants based on their biomatter (TTB I & II) or their decision-making (TTB DIGITAL) and explores bodies and bodily fluids in relation to nation-state mechanisms. The works emulate and reconfigure affective social structures and practices of the State through mimicry and an aesthetic language to interrogate the ways in which it (State/State mechanisms) produces and affirms affects, percepts, and subjects.
The wider purpose of these works is to suggest that artworks can overcome becoming ‘mere fact’ (Adorno) and instead engage the player in a sensorial experience of their biopolitical potentia.
BIOPOWER & NECROPOLITICS IN THE AGE OF THE PANDEMIC READING & DISCUSSION GROUP CURATED BY IZDIHAR AFYOUNI
Closed Online Reading Group, April 2020- September 2021
The Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent drive towards mass vaccination has resulted in a much greater visibility of the biopolitical apparatus of the contemporary state. I curated an online discussion group with a reading list inviting artists, academics and anyone else to join me in interrogating the biopolitical paradigm we have entered and how it’s rearticulated differences in agency, access and mobility. Vaccination programs themselves can be considered as war machines intended for the mass mobilisation of human bodies, and must make use of an enormous, pre-existing foundation of State machinery in order to achieve their goals. During the pandemic, we have seen the mass categorisation of human bodies based on their age, (dis)abilities, gender, race, and Covid-19 status. Test and trace programs across the world have illustrated how the government categorises such bodies, and how they can then mobilise the divided groups towards vaccination and, eventually, re-entering both working and consumerist spaces. Whilst the pandemic has elucidated these practices and revealed the multitude of State apparatus in play, it is crucial to recognise that such practices have histories that date back long before the emergence of the Covid-19 virus.