PINTHW [Philosophy in the Wild] is a multi-media collaboration between Bogna M. Konior & Yvette Granata. Spanning performances, web and video art, text and sound, it investigates the relation of philosophy to its suppressed, venomous components: sorcery, feminism, science, technology and theology. It was initiated in May 2016, when Konior & Granata traveled to Lamma Island in Hong Kong, of which they created an online journal [here]. The project takes "the wild" as a field yet to be discovered, a philosophy yet to be known, expressed in the convergence of thought and various technologies.
Sorcery Means is an aural spell, a sensory apocrypha inspired both by the practice of yee-weheri employed by jaguar shamans of the Amazon, and the Laruelle/Schmid non-standard method of philosophy. It is an immanent, material, and digital spell that re-wilds philosophy as it unveils alongside our movements in the darkness on Lamma island in Hong Kong. By means of voice modulation, philo-fiction, and predatory treatment of field recordings we aim to discover what sorcery means, and what is the craft of witchcraft. Instead of speculation, we chose a realist practice of unveiling thought by digital means alongside the darkness of the island. Just like jaguar shamans project themselves into the bodies of their human victims through a pathogenic object, we use our LED lamps, recording devices, and cameras to project ourselves into the body of the island like parasitic predators, unearthing from its ground a wild philosophy. We seek to initiate a material re-activation of philosophy buried in the wet soil of the island, providing for its use our vocal cords in a voluntary possession. Aiming to develop a new framework by means of sorcery, we elaborate on Laruelle’s assertion that “all philosophers are children who are afraid of the dark,” conceding that non-philosophers must materialize the immanent darkness free of representation, yet laden with invention, in which all thought is rooted. Only with eyes closed can we unfold the future.
Against Speculative Sufficiency! is a sonic apocrypha in which we simulate a philosophy of ancient women philosophers while walking and recording in the dark on Lamma island (Pok Liu Chau, or 南丫島). We nod in agreement both when we hear the proposition of cymatics (that sound creates matter), the modulations of dark animism (that sound puts thought in a relation of predation with the ontologically promiscuous world), and the rebellions of Francois Laruelle’s non-standard method, where speculation as a type of immanent philo-fictionalizing equates itself with a performative invention. Recorded on Lamma island in May 2016, we walk the island in darkness as we simultaneously think aloud with the contemporary and ancient darkness of island sound.
Taking cue from Laruelle and Anne-Francoise Schmid, we consider philosophy to be a new wild object and not a discipline defined by the sins of the father — its androcentric fidelity. We seek not a state in which philosophy or art gives voice to the real, but a mistuning to its occluded rhythm and entombed history. Extending Luce Irigaray’s notion of ‘rigorous unintelligibility’ and against philosophical logic that seeks to capture the real, we employ wild speculation articulated along its syntax. As philosophers-in-the-wild, and in the darkness of the island that becomes our distorted Plato’s cave, we aim not to capture the voices of female philosophers both erased from history and those to come; we dismiss the question whether these dark philosophers that we seek to sonically reap from death are real or not. We instead provide them with our vocal cords, our silence, and a myriad of sounds through which the vibrant darkness of this philosophical genocide can speak itself.
In May 2016, we traveled to Lamma Island in the South China Sea and recorded our philosophical dialogue over 4 nights while walking in darkness. We create an Eve-fiction, a philo-fiction of the garden, and take up an ancestor politics as we vindicate our ancestors, the ancient women philosophers. On the island, the old sewer system trap frogs, making the island sound like it is possessed by demon cows underneath the ground. There is a place called Cave Kamikaze, where the Japanese kamikaze speedboat pilots hid their boats while they waited for ships in order to zoom out into the ocean to blow themselves up, to stop ships from entering the harbor. And on the island, there are three kinds of venomous snakes, including a very deadly mamba. We are thinking about these snakes as we walk, and these sounds and the island darkness, as we speak with voices of the dead philosophers. We think of Envenoment, not Enlightenment. We are not safe.
A lecture, Envenoment, not Enlightenment compliments this piece. You can download it here.
Wild Thresholds was produced for a special issue of Madame Wang, premiering at the Taipei Biennial in December 2016 and at XENOplastic in Hong Kong in March 2017. For the issue, sound files previously used in the video work were manipulated and projected onto a page.
Read the whole issue here or download the piece here.