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Home Explore Report. Monika Narusyte

Report. Monika Narusyte

Published by monika.narusyte, 2015-12-20 17:35:59

Description: Report. Monika Narusyte


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INPUT: STREAM  This essay aims to explore and define different outputsthat emerged from the collision of picklist ideology andposthumanist research. It started as an unlikelycollaboration between seemingly distant ideologies withthe sole purpose of achieving original methodologies butquickly grew in scale materialising in a variety of differentoutcomes. This essay is divided into three segments. First segment,named X, looks into the history, development and differentcontexts of picklism. It is divided in subsegments namedS, M, L that are indicate the scale of an experimentdescribed. The second one, named Y, focuses on differentposthumanist approaches and identifies the possibilities ofpicklist intervention. The last segment, named Z, discussesthe broader implications and practical applications of theideas presented in X and Y. -1-

: ORIGINS OF PICKLISM* * Picklism is a tool created to expose and manipulate different power structures within the humanconsciousness. As a perpetually evolving and adapting method, it does not bound itself to a single defnitionbut instead is rather open to a variety of different interpretations.Cured meat at Faviken.Image: Howard Sooley -2-

X:ORIGINS OF PICKLISM Magnus Nilsson in front of his root cellar at Faviken. Image Erik Olsson WINTER IS COMING, PRESERVATION IS KEYPicklism emerged as an exploration of the only local produce from the land where nothingintrinsic value of preservation. The ability to grows during the winter season. Despite thegather, share and preserve not only have long obvious challenge, his menu boasts of aprovided human species with the evolutionary variety of conserves including meat or, moreadvantage but also reflected the ability to plan conventionally, vegetables and unusualfor the future or in other words, reflected the cooking methods like smoking in leaves thatunderstanding of passage of time. Even though have been decomposing outdoors for a year.preservation in the modern world is no longer Dubbed “the world’s most daring restaurant”necessary for survival, the utopian idea of by Bon Appetit magazine2, Faviken is not onlysuspending time still holds its charm. a perfect illustration of human ability to adapt to any environmental conditions, but also aMagnus Nilsson, the head chef of Faviken great example of how relevant such ancientrestaurant in Sweden, has successfully built a behaviour as preservation can be in modernbusiness around this idea1. Today he runs one contexts.of the top 25 restaurants in the world that uses-3-

X:ORIGINS OF PICKLISM GRADUAL SUSPENSIONS: Faviken was the inspiration behind the early stage, smallscale picklist experiments. It provided both the knowledge of thecraft of pickling and openness to a variety of its interpretations.One of the experiments that followed was an attempt to recreatethe story of the Gebelein man, a 5,500 year old Egyptian mummycurrently exhibited in the British Museum, through an everydayobject. The body of the Gebelein man was naturally mummifieddue to rapid drying in the hot desert sand which assured its perfectpreservation. The same process was applied to “mummify”A 5,5000 old pickle.Image: Picklism a set of pickles that were later named “5,500 year old pickles” referring to the inspirations behind the preservation method used to create them. Even though small scale, this experiment provided an interesting platform to further explore the variety of methods that can be used for pickling as well as highlighted the importance of the object/subject that is being pickled. -4-

X:ORIGINS OF PICKLISM Gebelein manImage: Bristish Museum -5-

X:ORIGINS OF PICKLISMM: At a later stage picklism shifted its focus onto the experiment. Being vacuum packed here serves as a metaphor of a feeling induced while having to read longan object/subject that is being pickled attempting to and repetitive legal documents such as terms and condi-vacuum pack a person. The experiment was tions.successful and the subjects that volunteered to bevacuum packed reported the state of heightened As a result, a set of non disclosure agreements wereawareness, isolation and increased sensitivity to developed and presented to sign to anyone in conversa-the surrounding world after the experience. This tion about picklism. Some of the agreements howeverparticular experiment became the point where the contained a “hidden” clause stating that the signee ofsimilarities between picklism and legal systems such document agrees to be vacuum packed.became apparent adding another meta dimension to -6-

X:ORIGINS OF PICKLISMThe majority of people who did sign the agreementwere not aware of the ‘hidden” clause that wasstrategically positioned in the middle of thedocument. The majority of people presented withthe document read the beginning of it, then jumpedstraight to the end and signed it so agreeing to bevacuum packed without their knowledge. As aconsequence, this experiment served as a tool thatexposed the extent of inconspicuous aspects ofpickling. Vacuum packed person. Image: Monika Narusyte -7-

X:ORIGINS OF PICKLISML: The idea that picklism can exist as a state of ted from George Osborne’s autumn statement speech and in the face ofconsciousness opened new ways of looking at it as international political unrest, ignored bywell as advanced it to a large scale. At this stage the media. For picklism, an attempt topicklism became a way to identify and highlight conceal such news together with athe ignorance and neglect within existing cultural, non-disclosed tampering with the originalsocietal, political etc. systems. It came to life as a terms and conditions of the student loanpeaceful protest against the freeze of student loan agreements, is a clear act of institutionalrepayments proposed in George Osborne’s 2015 Au- oppression and calls for direct andtumn statement3. If followed through, the freeze will immediate action.end up costing students an average extra of £2,300 ayear. This decision however was strategically omit- Picklist protest at Goldsmiths University. Image: Picklism-8-

X:ORIGINS OF PICKLISM Picklist petition against George Osbourne’s freeze of loan repayment threshold. Image: Picklism -9-

X:ORIGINS OF PICKLISM“V FOR VINEGAR”Political picklism became the reason for civil unrest use for neutralising tear gas and so unleashed thein Brazil in 2013 when disappointed brazilians went so called “Salad Uprising”. Here vinegar became ato the streets protesting against everything starting symbol of violent dissatisfaction that was expressedfrom rising public transport fares to government both through demonstrations and social mediaspending on the FIFA World Cup in 20144. During campaigns such as “V for Vinegar”5. There arethe protests a journalist was arrested over the obvious similarities between events in Brazil andpossession of bottled vinegar which he intended to picklism movement. On the one hand, both of them2013 protests in Brazil.Image: Christophe Simon -10-

X:ORIGINS OF PICKLISMdisplayed strengths in terms of the “V for Vinegar”ability to gather and encourage masses protest poster.of people to work together. On the otherhand, both of them lacked structure and Image: Facebookclearly defined objectives. -11-

X:ORIGINS OF PICKLISMOPEN SOURCE PICKLISMFor me, the most important aspect of pickllism is its ability todeconstruct the reality into its working components while stillexposing the multitude of them. Picklism presents the frame-work of looking into the world as a functioning or dysfunctioningsystem with identifiable intersection points which, when tinkeredwith, have a reverberative effect on the system itself. Moreover, itis democratic in nature; it is based on the freedom of informationand it operates by shifting the attention from the individual to thecollaborative community by encouraging a hands-on, bottom-upTransformation/preservation solutions. In this way, it is quitediagram. Image: Picklism similar to computer hacking where technological networks are exploited in order to get access, gain control of or simply to identify the weaknesses of a computer system. However it does not constrain itself within the parameters of technology but moves into more ambiguous areas of human life such as individual consciousness or collec- tive intelligence. For me, picklism in this sense comes back to its posthumanistic origins to be used as a methodology in reality hacking. -12-

X:ORIGINS OF PICKLISM Picklism deconstructiondiagram. Image: Picklism -13-

: HOMO EVOLUTIS** ** Humanoid that takes distinct and deliberate control over the evolution of his species… and others” Juan EnriquezOscar Pistorius at the 2012Olympics. Image: BBC -14-

Y: HOMO EVOLUTIS Lab-grown human ear. Image Anthony AtalaTHE RISE OF A SUPERHUMANPosthumanism is promising a rather McLuhanist pioneering the vision where body and the machinefuture where “in the digital age of intellectual would become one intertwined entity that “will final-machines, technology is literally a body invader, ly allow human beings to become ‘pure’ intelligence,penetrating consciousness, reshaping perception, no longer hindered by the needs and demands of thecirculating bodies and desire in cybernetic loops of body” (Guillaume and Hughes, 2011: 118). In suchinformation” (Kroker, 2014: 175). Ray Kurzweil, in- scenario, human body becomes malleable and hack-ventor and futurologist, illustrates this by suggesting able bionic structure, the capabilities of which arethat twenty years from now nanorobots will enable only bound by its owner’s imagination. Such futurehumans to adopt both biological and is rapidly becoming less and less utopian with thenon-biological thinking, giving us direct and instant emergence of people like Oscar Pistorius, a doubleaccess to informational networks6. He as well as amputee who in 2012 became the first amputee inpeople like Anthony Atala7, who is using stem cells historyto qualify for and participate in the Summerto regrow substitutive body parts for soldiers, are Olympics8.-15-

Y: HOMO EVOLUTIS “But the strange thing is, we know more about the origins andworkings of the universe than we do about the human brain. It is mankind’s fi nal frontier” Stephen FryAnother school of thought, however,is not so op- viving flight-or-fight situations. He compares it totimistic about the hybrid future and focuses on the the ultimate state of presence and distinguishes 17existing unexplored resources such as the human triggers that might help to artificially induce suchbrain instead. Steven Kotler, Director of Research ultimate state of human performance in everydayand Co-founder of Flow Genome project9, explores situations. In China, however, such practices havethe state of consciousness known as “the flow” been known for more than 5,000 years as the prac-which is experienced by adventure athletes in sur- tice of ChiLel10,which is being adopted as a healingMavericks is one of the most dangeroussurfing locations in the world. For those whodare to surf here, flow state is a neccesity.Image: Wikipedia -16-

Y: HOMO EVOLUTISmethod in the medicine-free hospitals that Disappearance of a tumorpride themselves of having more than 95% after a healing session.success rates in healing various illnesses, Image: Youtubeincluding cancer. Today such clinics op-erate as non-profit organisations and arerecognised by the Chinese government as alegitimate form of medical care. -17-

Y: HOMO EVOLUTISMIND THE SUPERGAPTapping into the seemingly infinite human potentialmight be the ultimate posthumanist fantasy.However, it does not come with some drawbacks.In the future, where the superbrain and the super-body is no longer a speculation, where human beingsdo not get sick or age, how do we deal with thedeeper levels of human processing such as anxieties,memories, cognitive biases or even learnedhelplessness11? Does our increased ability to processinformation present more possibilities or rather cre-ate more complex and inexplicable challenges for usto deal with in our everyday lives? -18-

Heroes with bad habits. Y: HOMO EVOLUTISIllustration: Monika Narusyte -19-

: DESIGNING FOR THE ELASTIC MINDPicklism provides a framework for at- of the system, but rather focuses on the system itself.tempting to address the problems stated Which in turn results in the creation of a whole newabove. Observed through the picklist area of exploration. In the picklist future, a humanlens, the posthumanist future demands being is in a constant dialogue with the environmenta more rounded vision which no longer he is embedded to. Therefore, the ultimate questionfocuses on upgrading the individual parts here is whether we, as human beings, can engineerOverhead view of new Appleheadquarters that were design-er to encourage human interac-tion. Image: Wired -20-

Z: DESIGNING FOR THE ELASTIC MIND Open plan interiors for the new Appla headquarters aim to reduce isolation and promote healthy lifestyle. Image: Wiredenvironments that facilitate our superhuman world, and not man-made” (2015: 2). Reviewing theambitions? Can we live in houses that make newest advancements in psychology, urban planningus smart? Can our workplaces eradicate stress and neuroscience, they begin to deconstruct and un-and induce the state of ultimate human perfor- derstand the profound effects that buildings and citiesmance? have on our lives. As a posthumanist picklist howev- er, I would dare to take their ideas a step further andIn a book Cognitive Architecture Ann Sussman begin to dream about and design for the environmentsand Justin B.Hollander begin to look into how where human consciousness becomes the central fo-human beings respond to a man-made world. cus. While at the moment we do not know sufficientlyThey suggest that “we see the ‘reality’ nature enough about how the human mind operates, moreintends us to see, the one that led to our species’ information on the subject is being accumulated everysurvival in the past, which was for almost all day and it is imperative that we use this knowledge toof human history, the one outside in the natural create better, smarter and more sustainable world. -21-

OUTPUT: MULTIPLEX*** *** An electronic device that combines many signals into a single transmission circuit or channel..While started as an exercise in creating ideologies, overtime picklism began to grow independently step by stepclaiming its position in the material world. Gradually pick-lism absorbed the ideas that preceded it and in doing sobegan to provide fresh perspectives and theoreticalframeworks for exploring the ideas of the future.It is my hope that picklism will be able to sustain itsmomentum for years to come providing inspiration notonly myself but also others. -22-

BIBLIOGRAPHY1. IMDB: Chef’s table Magnus Nilsson (2015) . Available at: (Accessed: 20 December 2015).2. Faviken Rising (2011). Available at: (Accessed: 20 December 2015).3. Spending Review and Autumn Statement 2015: documents (2015). Available at: (Ac-cessed: 20 December 2015).4.NY Times: Brazil’s Vinegar Uprising (2013). Available at: (Accessed: 20 December 2015).5. Facebook V for Vinegar (2012). Available at: (Ac-cessed: 20 December 2015).6. TED: Ray Kurzweil: Get ready for hybrid thinking (2014). Available at: (Accessed: 20 December2015).7.Discover: Engineering New Organs Using Our Own Living Cells (2015). Available at: (Accessed: 20 December2015).8. The Telegraph: Oscar Pistorius knocked out of London 2012 Olympics but his achievementswill resound for years to come (2012). Available at: (Accessed: 20 December 2015).9. Fow Genome Project (ongoing). Available at: (Accessed: 20 December 2015).10. Worl’s Largest Medicinless Hospital (not secified). Available at: (Accessed: 20 December 2015).11. What Is Learned Helplessness? (2015) Available at: (Accessed: 20 December 2015).Gulliaume, L. & Hughes, J. (2011) Deleuze and the Body, Edinburgh: Edinburgh UniversityPress.Kroker, A. (2014) Exits to the Posthuman Future, Oxford: Polity Press.Sussman, A. & Hollander, J.B. (2014) Cognitive Architecture, New York: Routledge.

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