Jana Vanecek

Reality is promiscuous, at the very least

Installation & Publication: 5 x C-Stands, 5 x double-sided print on aluminium-dibond 40cmX50cm, publication 66p

Reality is promiscuous, at the very least is an installation with publication and consists of a series of images and a series of text fragments. The work shows an excerpt from Vanecek's artistic research project on neurodiversity and coauthorship with non-human actors in the age of artificial intelligence.

The artist developed the image series together with machine learning algorithms. In the images, one recognizes viruses, brains, faces, octopuses, cyborgs that connect with each other in a variety of ways. The text consists of fragments from Donna Haraway‘s «Cyborg Manifesto», Gloria Anzaldua‘s «La conciencia de la mestiza: Towards a New Consciousness», Wahneema Lubiano‘s «But Compared to What?», Maurice Merleau-Ponty‘s «Das Primat der Wahrnehmung», Sami Schalk‘s «Bodyminds reimagined : (dis)ability, race, and gender in black women’s speculative fiction» and memes circulating in the neurodivergent community, which Vanecek has edited, supplemented and rewoven. With the figuration of the neurodivergent-bodymind-cyborg, neurodiversity is taken up not only thematically, but also formally, as a kind of «dispersed writing», as practiced by the artist with their ADHD - but also linking to modes of representation in digital and postmodern literature. This can be experienced in particular in the installation.

Image and text are independent narrative structures that influence and complement each other. Together, they convey a science fiction fabulation that takes up the hypothesis that a specific type of retrovirus, known as human endogenous retroviruses (HERVs), may have played a role in the evolution of human consciousness. HERVs are ancient viruses that became integrated into the human genome during the course of evolution, and are now present in all humans. Some researchers have proposed that certain HERVs may have influenced the development of the human brain by providing a source of genetic variation that allowed for the emergence of new neural pathways and processes.

The work was awarded with the prestigious Art Scholarship of the City of Zurich 2022.