CLICK : XENO – Becoming one with the other

CLICK Festival continues to explore new territories in the field of experimental and hybrid arts, technology and knowledge in this year’s eight installments. With increasing urgency, we are experiencing a situation of immense global instability; of thought, opinion, sustainability and the foundations on which we base our institutions, societies and universal truths. These are all the things that for so long have seemed familiar to us, embedded in the very fabric of humanity and notions of the natural. Rather than recognizing the difficulties faced through orientation towards this way of thinking, we increasingly chose further to renege and withdraw into romantic positions; insinuating a purity that seems to be first and foremost a construction. In this instability, a growing recognition of the insufficiency of sameness and the interconnection of things that are beyond a merely human perception emerges.

Rather than seeing that which is different, that which is “other” from us, as hostile to human existence, we need to begin to seize this moment of unease to reconfigure the way we orientate ourselves in the world. We might embrace otherness to speculate about new constructions of openness, of sustainable cohabitation in a world that is not exclusively for us. Letting otherness offer us a new viewpoint.

A growing feeling of alienation can be seen as the seed from which new possibilities may arise. Alienation and otherness might in a way become the unifying factor that could allow a critical reassessment of horizons we have so far been navigating towards. Otherness is not a characteristic excluded from humanity, it is embedded in us as in all things and a potential strength perhaps. Not only does the other exist around us and in us, we are also actively creating it. Our technological advances in fields such as artificial intelligence, biology, automation and science are creating byproducts that time and again lead to results that are beyond our own comprehension – they are met with equal measures of excitement, awe and fear. But to truly consider the meanings of these advances should we not think about the terms on which we are currently basing them?

   We must investigate ways in which to co-live and co-exist not only with ourselves and our creations, but equally with environments that are different from us, but play crucial parts in our very existence. In a spatiotemporal sense how can we think about living, while still playing no small part in creating persistently hostile environments for ourselves, other beings and other processes?

We need to explore new forms of knowledge that do not extend an insular human subjectivity. Forms of knowledge that might create new situations for living. And so we investigate the other, the alien, the XENO.