Finger Fringes Fuck (2047)*Text by Dalia Maini
The prism of life at the end of capitalism was a killing crisis game. The consequences of a western world sized only on economical terms were under the eyes of everyone: the natural cycle of the seasons had spilled in confusional climatic alternance and the impoverishment of mineral deposits employed for salty water filtration had skyrocketed the price of the liquid. Everyone was suffering from mental disorders, and immune-system fragilities sugarcoated by therapy pets, cute house animals to record for the internet in order to give memetic relief. Lack of emotive sensitivity and critical understanding were plagues affecting especially those living in urban centers, the nodal point of connectedness and professional competition. The city ruled by techno financial governance pushed the individual through a continuous stream of information and the invite to consume whitecoolness powder as the only possible lifestyle of happiness. There, also human sensorium was mined, while the sight was hyper powered, the sense of the touch had lost its efficacy. Hands weren’t used anymore for handling and exploring, but for scrolling and typing. The consequence of the process of coevolution with digital screens was the progressive thickening of the fingertips skin and its sensorial drowsiness. Those affected by this genetic condition named Finger Fringes saw their fingers turning in fleshy dumb nailless pulsating protuberances.
Because of the precarious living conditions people weren’t able to gaze at each other in the eyes if not already secure to have the same investment portfolio, tightening class inequality and enclosure. And the struggle was more real among those who covered lower social positions and needed to raise their voices in order to be represented, minorities, sexualized or racialized bodies. They sat at the bottom of the social pyramid, covering humble but fundamental positions in order to make the progress to happen. Even the serverdusters, indispensable for the technological maintenance, struggled for decent wages, housings, and emotional support. Among the bodies stressed the most by this necrotic system, there were those whose labour was not immediately quantifiable in economical value: artists, culture makers, story-tellers, idlers. They had seen their roles subtracted from the social sphere and their works nourished by the famine of monocultural capitalism. Their creation were lesser and lesser experienced in real life, due to privatization of spaces and the severe security measures adopted by museums after the occurrence of pandemies. Under the shield of democratization and accessibility, cultural productions were translated into free content for virtual platforms in order to attract more users and diversify a scenario of opulent consumerism. Cultures instrumentalized by market fundamentalism and private financial interests were representative of social inequalities, but had failed in mirroring a complexer society.
In these escalations of discontents, programmatic visionariety comes to be the best ally, therefore even though the loss of purpose, rights and identity, many people increased their imaginative capacity: survival was a matter of collective effort. The first episode occurred during the spring of 2030. Coordinating an international chain of fugitive information on emptyafraid platform, a group labeled bloomer managed to organize an exodus from the capitals centers and moved in the liminal space of the periphery. From there they could organize a disseminated intelligence and contemplate the ruins of a lifestyle inflated by hyper-consumerism and private property, while starting a physical and psychical healing process. Retired in the transactionary landscape of the suburbs, where concrete was inhabited by climbing plants and ancietdusts, the dissidents could confront their knowledges and start the exercise of de-learning ages of humankind dreaming only dreams of human progress. The community conceived on the principles of affective abundance, meditative pain and structural joy, demanded the processing of the collective traumas as social practices. The inhabitants of this societal model of diversification, in order to belong together again, started from the reappropriation of their time, re-feel the complexity of their bodies, accepting the stasis as a moment of change.
Their purpose was to prove that different ways for inhabiting the world were possible and to slowly expand this planetary fashion on a macro scale. The time of renovation was harsh, speculation needed to glue together the pieces of a fragmented society. It required a shift from a critical point of view to ways to create practical knowledge, enactable from everyone. The role of the artist was questioned and many of them needed to face emotional breakdown and existential crisis:They weren’t useless!! Their mission was to curate visions of life and to engage in shaping a fresh consciousness of desires and response-ability. To reach the population, the group of artivists understood that the public institutions of social reproduction, were the first which needed a reorganization. Indeed, undercovered, they infiltrated metropolitan centers, educational systems and civic offices in order to seed people's imaginations and ignite a forgotten sense of cosmopolitical relationality. Artistic perceptions were vital as one of the ways in which to project subjectivities and find empathy for the ideas of the others. A better world was possible, and the previous one slowly started to be distrusted and crumbled down, that meant humankind was still infused by love. An epochal compromise was reached when according to their researches and inclinations storytellers, sentimental visionaries, radical designers, oppressed nourishers were instituted to cover the roles of socio-hypothetical explorers. These jobs were waged and consisted in enhancement of instituent practices, such as community building, social justice questioning, environmental rights thinking, or facilitating the translation of technological extractivism to cooperative alternatives. Consequently, freed from the pressure to produce artworks in order to survive, financial influences and market rules, they could produce arts on their own terms.
Morgan was an artist-mediator in charge of finding non-normative methodologies for situating and opening up the anthropocentric sense of self. She collaborated with Courageous Spa.ce, one of the first newborn social infrastructure to carry both an aesthetic and a political potential. There folks were encouraged to rely on each other and make the process of togetherness visible. The Spa.ce was molded on the necessity to rethink the pair citizens/spectator, encouraging every person who lived in any land - village, town or city - to contribute to that place, to its live-ability and its resilience. Speculative thinking and aesthetic knowledge was an agency and a quality to be given back to citizenship, through the individuation of socially-necessary, but still uncomfortable terrains of imagination. At Courageous Spa.ce to citizens, grouped by fields of interests, were given the task to think about issues absent or hidden from the dominant cultural canon and that could have challenged it. Within flexible periods of discussion and practical confrontation among the citizens, the processes were divulged and translated into movements throughout strategies of diffusion and guidelines of application, oral transmission was everywhere. Indeed after the containment of the economical strenhold to specific platforms on the web, public spaces were cleaned by commercial advertisements. Streets and squares were intended as neutral places of commoning and manifestations of togetherness. The few remaining advertising boards -scattered around the county-suburbs- served as indexes through which delocalized civic collectives and artists could inform everyone interested to jump on the stage of comrades' creativity or express alternative subjectivities. Accordingly, just a small percentage of activities were within four walls, nature was the compelling lesson.
At the edge of the autumn, Morgan was cycling back from the city on the statal DA32. She was affected by Finger Fringe syndrome, and due to her condition she was studying botanical sensorial organizational systems. Indeed her thoughts were all oriented in sensing the environment around her. She liked to bathe in the fresh air and got her mind inebriated by the pollen discourses of the vegetation. It was the most likely moment of the day to learn something from and with non-human lifes. She used to stop by the free access grassland close to her housing solution and sit within its inhabitants: spontaneous flowers, wild weeds, busy insects, soily microorganisms, all intent in cooperating in order to make their part in the chain of life. Indeed training herself to sense with plants, in a more atmospherical fashion, now she could have recognized blindfolded an Atropurpurea just licking her leaves, and extract beauty elixirs rubbing soil roots with spiky petals. She liked to play the chemist Synthesizing, Hypnotizing, Dehumanizing, Energizing, Solarizing the environment around her. That afternoon she was performing with the wind, her body on the bicycle was a fleshy arrow in the green, while she was spotting nice places to attach the posters for her next performative event: FF Fuck (2047). Halfway, she stopped close to the huge billboard at the edge of the spruce forest, where among many colorful graphics she juxtaposed her advertising THURSDAY 27TH SEPTEMBER- FROM 4PM- DISSEMINATED MUSEUM, CORNER STREET 78.
She was in a hurry since the 27 September would have been just two days later and many things needed to be sorted out. She took a shortcut through the old pharmaceutical industry, now converted in lunar water cisterns where new systems of filtration were under trial. She picked up a couple of liters of water exposed to 5 lunar cycles and got inside her studio, an humid space which walls were ornated by textiles and vines. She uncovered from the cork the bulb she had left soaking the night before and poured the liquid in it. She was experimenting with fingerprints merging and consequential telepathy, through the study of un-intentional symbiotic interaction among plants. She dirtied her finger with the liquid contained in the ornate pipe, contrarily to its jelly appearance, the texture was dusty and warm. It consisted of an electrolytic solution made from C11H15NO2 molecule, grinned nocturnal violets and the spores of Sensitivicum, its mycorrhizal fungus. Indeed the ghostly scent emanated by nocturnal violets, perceivable just during humid or stormy nights, was the result of the interaction between rain droplets and the mycotic hypas connected to the flower. Morgan was inspired by fungal sensitive interaction, possible because of the apex root-intelligence and the electric flux-messages running through the hyphae. Keeping in her mind the duties mediator at Courageous Spa.ce, she had imaginate for her performative event FF Fuck human fingers as hyphae and translated the decentralized decision making to the tips of them. Would they recognize the emotions, fears, and background of the people under their touch? She licked her finger and waited.
Morgan knew that what she was organizing was at the edge of legality, but she needed to give it a try. In the early morning of the 27th she started to install her setting. She paved CORNER STREET with leaves and pillows and replaced the hand sanitiser inside the dispensers along the road with her magic liquid. She stickered on them: lick me. She placed outside the structure always-under-construction of the DISSEMINATED MUSEUM a box full of night eyes masks, people would have benefited from them. Morgan uploaded on her website the guidelines of the performative moment: take an eyes mask, take with your hands a serving of FF liquid, lick it, nest on a pillow. Then she left the scene. The nature-synthetic experiment was successful, five weeks later people had been so absorbed from that experience that they were still speaking about it, and foremostly were trying to replicate what they had been experiencing. Trying and retrying they were forced together, they started studies, memories sharing and bodily practices in order to recreate it. They didn’t need the setting to become together, FINGER FRINGE FUCK was the inheritance, but the common purpose of re-enactment was the coesive factor that had gathered them again and again in a community.
An human-fungal orgy, so nice.