Encounter border creatures – The becoming of human in a Corona para-site
This project seeks opportunities to dissolve identity boundaries between the human and nonhuman by speculating into alternative scenarios of a ‘Border Creature’s life in a human-fabricated world. I took advantage of my newly acquired nonhuman identity, the Novel Coronavirus (SARS-COV2-19), which is known for causing a global pandemic (Covid-19) in the year 2020, and ‘transferred’ myself into a Border Creature. Collaborating with coronavirus, other Border Creatures as well as photographers, we tried to explore the field of re-designing ourselves, as proposed by design theorist Tony Fry in his book: Becoming human by design (2012). Via designed tangible facial devices (paper) and speculative scenarios built by photography and ‘dairy’ writing, the project is to highlight the shared identity a human has with Coronavirus in Växjö city, Sweden, and to confront the inhuman status Border Creature is undertaking due to social stigmatization in order to raise questions and reflections around our prefigured definition of what is human.
We need to see and place ourselves in relation to Others, and to realize we humans are multispecies beings.
The designing journey resulted in 13 speculative scenes and a digital exhibition participated by 16 human collaborators who exhibited the stories on their chests. It was a protest stating that we are all Border Creatures after all. We need to see and place ourselves in relation to Others, and to realize we humans are multispecies beings.
The concept of ‘Border Creature’ here is to highlight the mode of multispecies’ co-existence that has been buried under the ubiquitous understanding of being human. It refers to beings that inhabit the realm of ‘bare life’, are often seen on the margin of the human realm, are often treated inhumanly by humans, and are often overlooked by the majority.