We are already silkworms
unsettling the individual lure with silky gestures of togetherness
A group of people transforming silk-worm cocoons into ‘one only silk thread’ enacts an ancient textile technology that has currently evolved into cosmetics and biomedicine.
Recent biomedical research explores the properties and multiple uses of silk cocoons (sericin) as a highly versatile biomaterial (used in dermal and bone regeneration, reconstructive surgery, culture media, antitumor research and others). And not only (De La Cadena). Human-silkworm entanglements carry within their threads stories of gendered labor, exploitation, human exceptionalism, colonialism, industrial revolution, and bio-material-engineering and production. Bombix mori, the domestic silk moth, is also called white seductress — crystallizing knots of racial extractivism in such critters. However, in the process of rehearsal, in engaging with the unknown materiality of ‘one only silk thread’ and in discovering ways in which we can thread together, the practice brings a space to slow down and unhatch healthcare textiles into other material gestures.
Which kinds of care and sensibilities can we nurture by tending to silkworms? Which lessons about collective transformation – and not only individual death- do silkworms teach us? How do we engage in modes of research-creation that resist knowing, lingering in the possibilities of undoing and not-knowing-together? How do we train to tune into larger than self, collective tempos and temperatures? What kind of aspirations do we need to let go of? Which sense-abilities need unhatching? What kinds of slowness can we cultivate together by tending to the rhythms of mulberry trees, silk worms, and processes of transformation and gesture, spinning cocoons, mutating and de-composting? Which collective images emerge from playing with the string figures of our silky gestures?
What do silkworms teach us about not-so-nice transformation, queer ecologies, and tuning into collective rhythms?
train to tune into larger than self, collective tempos and temperatures
Cosensing: A concept and a practice that attends to how we attune.
The title for this project emerged in a queer art residency in 2018. We were in rehearsal with Quimera Rosa and their project Trans*plant, my disease is an artistic creation. Working with plants and bacteria we produced cosensing, a concept and a practice that invites us to attune to the sensible, when words can’t make sense of the un-known, or the yet-to-know.
Novella, C. (2019) From Consent to Cosense: Rehearsing Ecologies of Exposure within Quimera Rosa’s Trans*Plant, my disease is an artistic creation.