Ulysses Pact: Metagenomic Entanglements


Session Title:

  • Germs 2: Fermenting, Growing, Creating

Presentation Title:

  • Ulysses Pact: Metagenomic Entanglements




  • Abstract (long paper)

    This paper aims at presenting and discussing the work ‘Ulysses Pact’ (2016) produced by the author – a bioart interactive sound installation that metaphorically evokes the ancient myth of Ulysses (Odysseus) and the pact he made with his crew as they approached the Sirens. The reference to the myth is a dramatic invitation to reflect on the constitution of our viscerally chaotic plurisystemic selves – myriads of Complex Adaptive Systems’ (CAS) conglomerates, resembling a noisy metropolis build up of microbiomic conversations. As it is envisaged by the author, in an isolated wall at one of the ISEA 2016 collective exhibition venues, one individual a time is challenged to have a seat in an object that resembles an old restraint apparatus – a reference to the Benjamin Rush’s (1749- 1813) ‘tranquilizer chair’ designed for psychiatric patients, to which a circuit of sensors and piezoelectric generators is integrated. Seduced by its own curiosity, or by the apparatus’ weirdness itself, this individual will find her/himself immersed in a vibrational whole body experience. Starting from a personal interest in investigating potential links between schizophrenia and the human microbiota, in ‘Ulysses Pact’ the author dedicated to the production of a sonification project using raw data from a study where the ‘composition, taxonomy and functional diversity of the oropharynx microbiome in individuals with schizophrenia and controls’ was investigated. ‘Ulysses Pact’ is the first emergence of a new series of works produced by the author as an attempt to investigate plurisystemic conversations within our body from a cross scalar perspective considering the phenomena of quantum entanglement as the main communicational strategy that allows to understand our bodies as CAFFS – Complex Affective Systems (a term coined by the author) and consciousness as an emergence from this self organizing structure.


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