Text with Illustratio

What is Post-Animal

A Speculative Inquiry into the Future of Animality. This text serves as a creative stimulus, with each sentence input into DALL-E to generate corresponding illustrations.

What, precisely, is an Animal? Bloated glans, majestic gaze, yielding skins and shrouded shoulders...

Is it a purely biological construct or a vessel bearing the weight of myth and narrative?

Is it a tangible embodiment of genes, nutrition, thought and instincts or a symbiotic assemblage of beings and representations at the threshold of planetary pleasure and pressure?

What constitutes a Post-Animal? The keen edge of spikes, the cacophony of spills - the gravitational draw of the core and its eventual abandonment.

Might the Post-Animal be a reflection of the animal's gaze back upon itself through an augmented mirror — fuzzy horns, dim light, saturated skins — simultaneously observing and being observed, cloaked in ambiguity?

Could it be a complex living mesh with creases and folds, extending into a multi-dimensional kinship that transcends mere genetic lineage and existential necessity?

Silicon seeds, gluten spillage, genetic point clouds, botanical quantum machinery...

Each organism — familiar or alien — projects a persona of threat, boundaries, riddles and obsessions.

What indeed forms the blueprint for such a Post-Animal? Appendages thrusting forth, eyes bounded in closure.

An organism juxtaposed with machine bits and biosensors, or a living continuum re-imagined on the cusp of technology, ritual and consciousness autonomy?

Picture this entity – magnified, hastened with optimism, self-determination, and tantalizing unpredictability, its evolutionary path unfettered and fierce.

Reflect upon the trajectories of a Post-Animal civilization, transcending the cozy veneer of domesticity, bearing the indelible traces of its yearning for the sublime and an alienation interwoven with vulnerabilities simultaneously embodied and beyond the body.

Its regime of production and reproduction, the practice of biological materialization teetering on the edge of eco-equilibrium, invoking, repudiating, affecting, and abjecting its meticulous craft of forms, compositions, formulas, algorithms, ceremonies and monstrosities.

The feast of the unforeseen.

Mutation — the linguistic vernacular of this civilization and its vast legion of offspring civilizations branching out on the ever-forking paths — cultivates this uncanny nature with audacity and prestige.

As the boundaries between narratives and artifacts, beings and meanings grow porous, we are left with a precious fusion of native and synthetic, void and paragon.

Mutation transforms from a mere event into an ethos of metaphysical synchronicity, propelled by an outward, open-to-love velocity that disrupts the static norms of evolutionary stagnation.

Visualize a society where science is intertwined with the eldritch, spawning diverse breeds of consciousness.

Where machine intelligence is not a detached entity, but a bloodline of our own lineage, ushering in an era where life becomes malleable - liberated from the unyielding chains of protocols, monopolies, and hierarchies.

Here, life doesn't just regain its agency — it asserts it.

Genetic autonomy evolves into a dynamic practice of re-scripting the synthesis of body, material layers, social occurrences, and natural phenomena.

Within this milieu, the Post-Animal ceases to be constrained to the simplistic roles of survival and consumption. They contribute to a planetary parable with care, daring and luminescence.

Enhanced environmental sentience, advanced magnetic resonance, evolved telepathy, and acute sonic intelligence, coupled with extensive geographical distribution, embed them deeply into the earthling fabric.

Transmitting early signals of wildfires and broadcasting the rumbling earth tremors.

Tracing the tactical military maneuvers for war-ravaged communities.

Their voices echo the swirling events of the new landscape resonating with an ancient rhythm and precision.

Finally, envision a Post-Animal island along its jagged coastlines, the ebb and flow of waters resonate with the mutable cycle of the colossal swimmers, silent but for the seismic heartbeat echoing through the vast quake.

Here, the distinction between Animal and Post-Animal blurs, casting long shadows of promise and indeterminacy into the uncharted currents.

We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.

Di Sai 2023 ︎