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Arjuna Neuman

Residency April-June

Planetary Erotics takes up residence in Geneva, somewhere between the birth of Dr Frankenstein’s Creature and the resurrection of CERN’s God Particle. Inside of this closed loop – the human is slowly destroying itself. Unable to escape from the binary violence written into our DNA, our cells and our desires – the human, homo oeconomicus or humanity as we know it (inside and out) is corrupted, overdetermined and overrepresented. A species-error that was miscoded through the Enlightenment and its legacy. Leaving us with today’s human that is nothing more than the sum of its dehumanizations.

But, all around us techno-global processes are re-ordering the scale and integrity of existence, from microbes to galaxies, flesh to factories, all processes seem to be unbinding nature, unbinding the human – therefore it is absolutely urgent to speak up, vote and simply join the conversation about what we are to become as a species.

Planetary Erotics is just such a politics, it is an attempt to twist and keep twisting the Enlightenment loop, until Frankenstein’s Creature starts to ass-fuck CERN’s God Particle, until their love-child appears as something other than an innate will to dehumanize.

Planetary Erotics in its current phase is an ongoing, roving research project, a disobedient experiment to find out if we can re-write, re-imagine and re-construct the human together/altogether.

This process of research gathers people from different backgrounds to test out both what it means to be human (we have bodies, differences, locations in time and space) – and to try and imagine what it could mean to be human (should we become telepathic, an interspecies superorganism, one hyper-body or just angels?)

The research so far has been conducted through “study groups” – informal gatherings where people with specific knowledge and experience are invited to share, discuss and disobey what they know, what they feel, what they are. The goal of these meetings is always two fold – first to examine the inherited definitions and values, prejudices and principles of being human. Much of these almost unquestioned definitions, that of our “species identity” our “biological facts” can be traced back to the Enlightenment. Following the first stage of disenchantment – the “study group” turns its attention to reconstruction, reimaging and revision. In short we ask, how do we rebuild together the human for the future?

Arjuna Neuman was born on an airplane, that’s why he has two passports. He is an artist, filmmaker and writer. With recent presentations at NTU Centre for Contemporary Art; the 56th Venice Biennale and SuperCommunity; the Haus Der Kulturen der Welt; Ashkal Alwan and the Beirut Art Centre; Le Gaite Lyric; the Canadian Centre for Architecture; and the Rat School of Art amongst others. As a writer he has published essays in Relief Press, Into the Pines Press, The Journal for New Writing, VIA Magazine, Concord, Art Voices, Flaunt, LEAP and e-flux.