There Are Worlds

November 17, 2020

There Are Worlds Within Worlds and Worlds Outside Worlds
There Are Worlds Within Worlds and Worlds Outside Worlds
There Are Worlds Within Worlds and Worlds Outside Worlds

 

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Elektra KB, No SMILES (Simplified Molecular-Input Line-Entry System) Yet, 2020.

Birds are chirping, and rain is falling in Brooklyn. ⛈ 🌦 💦 💦 Needing access to vital health treatment that has been denied by the pharmaco-capitalist system 🤑 makes me dream of a life with biohacking.

Immediately, a communication from the Cathara Autonomous Territory (CAT) is intercepted.

A portal to CAT opens, sparked by my frustration due to a lack of healthcare access and my urgent need for an immunomodulatory treatment. By having entered the world of CAT, I automatically become a citizen of their rebel territories. 🛂 ⛑ A cyber-healing ritual is made: plants, animals, meteors, and fire, join the techno-ritual 🐾 🌿 👾 🌺 🦑 🔥 ⚡ 🌌 🗻 🌊 with their molecular code 🧬. This healing is delivered to me with a gentle digital crip lullaby. 🌬 👄 👂 💆

There are worlds within worlds and worlds outside worlds. Some, we think, are dreams. “The mind is not capable of imagining anything that doesn’t exist,” asserted my mother, a science woman, when I was a child. “It is scientific theory!” she argued. However, I believe there is an incognizable infinity to the human mind.

There is a world of the eternal civil war where some of us grew up, a dystopia. In this civil war, violence never stops, even though a cocooned minority is immune to its effects. War mutates but endures. The war that we shall not speak about, and must pretend is not even happening, keeps on claiming the lives of innocent people for thinking differently. It makes life disposable and renders hunger and displacement as the norm. In fact, living in this dystopian world at war, I discovered that there were many worlds. Knowing this, I wrote my own manifesto as a child, which gave me the possibility and the hope for escaping. A liberation that came about by realizing one can always live in-between worlds.

That is how the ill live, with dual citizenship, as Susan Sontag says, in the kingdom of the well and the kingdom of the sick.[1] I, however, need a passport to travel between these two worlds. ☄ 🌏 🌑

In this virus-ridden world, the well caught a glimpse of how us crips live, as many have emigrated to undesirable kingdoms. We don’t know if there will ever be an awakening of the human, away from the hierarchy of bodies that values people according to their productivity.

I’m not scared of hospitals; I’m afraid of the lack of them. One particular hospital was my world inside a world—my refuge in this dystopia.

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Elektra KB, Hospital Santa Marta from the series ”Shostakovich’s 7th Symphony Healing Cathara Forces,” 2019. Boyacá, Colombia.

I grew up in a hospital in a rural area in Boyacá, Colombia. My father received his education thanks to an internationalist Soviet policy at the time, to aid the so-called third world countries. The hospital had what seemed like hundreds of rooms, including a catholic chapel, a charcoal stove kitchen, and an amphitheater. I would spend all my free time in different hospital areas. We lived in a little house inside the hospital grounds. I remember that most of the people working in the hospital were women, and most of them were my friends.

I grew up saying “sumercé,” meaning “your mercy”—a term of reverence used since the colonial period—instead of “usted” (you). Our inheritance from the colonizers is a part of us that we hate because it normalized violence against each other and other species. It brought us poverty and war. It alienated us from the entire universe by forcing us to be squared monotheists. It brought us a binary contract of ownership, where men subjugate women, and women are accumulated as property. It was the beginning of the Anthropocene, the slow destruction of our planet.

However, alternative universes are discovered amid the continuous destruction of our many worlds by colonialism's extractivism, on the one hand, and political persecution and state oppression, on the other. That is how I found the Theocratic Republic of Gaia (TROG).

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Elektra KB, Bodies of Water: Body As A Prison. Prison As A Body, 2016. Video.
Trailer - https://vimeo.com/201500223

I. The Cathara Insurgents vs The Theocratic Republic of Gaia

The Theocratic Republic of Gaia (TROG) is a world that, living in a period of imminent intense geological and social upheaval during which tensions built up over centuries, will be discharged. TROG is a totalitarian state ruled by the supreme ruler, the Papess and her army of—veiled—Beings. It is populated by colonized Trogians and the heretic Catharas—dancing warriors—that populate the pre-Columbian territories of TROG and lead a mystical battle of resistance against the light-ray weapons of the Beings.

Subjected to a fascist world empire led by the Papess, Trogians, its citizens, are hypnotized and have forgotten what reality is. They live at the mercy of incomprehensible dogmas, and in a cult of abstract humanoids, as machines in a massive staged fantasy. They are in search of the ephemeral Tetrapharmakos—the essence of pleasure and happiness.

State officials from TROG and its dissidents—the Catharas—are surveilling the universe. They travel across worlds in time-folding vessels.

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Elektra KB, The Accidental Pursuit of the Stateless, 2015.
Trailer - https://vimeo.com/130203668| Teaser - https://vimeo.com/291331921

The revolutionary Cathara insurgency is a militant network that established the Cathara Autonomous Territory (CAT). In order to prevent the destruction of our multi-dimensional worlds, the Catharas seek the dissolution of hate. CAT is a cyborg-trans-feminist world populated by feminist bodies. In CAT, gender has the capacity of biohacking. That is, they use substances that alter how society perceives gender. In TROG, gender is claimed with fury by new generations of biohackers who want complete freedom and autonomy over their bodies without the state's mediation.

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Elektra KB, C.A.T. Digital Checkpoint , 2020.

II. The Politics of Healing

The Cathara Autonomous Territory immigration officials travel to our world through spatio-temporal portals. Due to the rise of systems of oppression, they created a Stateless Autonomous passport, which you need to present at several checkpoints. The passport grants citizenship to people willing to renounce the nation-state's abstraction for which humans kill and are killed. In a CAT checkpoint, you can renounce the allegiance to national borders and gender borders, chauvinism, patriotism, and fascism, declaring that these concepts do not define your true existence, nor are they a marker for human value.

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Elektra KB, Territorio Cathara y Ciudadanía Global, 2019. Site-specific installation, wooden military hut and anti-tank obstacles. Hotel Nutibara - Medellín, Colombia.

In the Cathara Autonomous Territory, there are machine and body mutualisms only for the purpose of healing defective bodies across all species. The Catharas are inter-species beings; some have aqua-jelly-flower mouths and six eyes.

After the rise of fascism, and when other hate-inducing viruses started taking over our world's population, the Cathara insurgent magic dancing warriors visited our world to implement their healing forces. They traveled in time-folding vessels in a curative quest, using Shostakovich's 7th Symphony as a sonic technology to combat hate. Shostakovich's 7th Symphony was realized as a counter-fascist tactic, when it effectively muted Nazi bombardments during planet Earth’s Second World War.

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Elektra KB, The Politics of Healing: DESTROYING SILENCE , 2019. From the series “Apathy No More.” HD video 7:07 minutes.

My resistance and yours is manifesting.

How malleable is the spatio-temporal? And why are resistance and feminism sometimes framed as speculative? Why are they not futures in the process of materialization, and who says they can’t be? Who is the authority that says utopia is an impossibility in our world? And that we must keep rotating as pinions in a machine, performing our assigned societal roles for productivity and consumption in an orderly fashion? There is a force that wants to keep us prisoners of the dystopia. When we know that, it is scientific fact, as my mother said, all that the human mind imagines, actually exists. My resistance and yours is manifesting.

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Elektra KB, Protest Sign VI - You Are Not Alone, 2020. Mixed media textiles


Elektra KB is a Latin American immigrant artist, living and working in Brooklyn, NY. Their work engages corporeal sickness and disability, with utopian possibilities and alternative universes. KB investigates gender, migration, transculturality, and abuse of power. Their work entangles mutual aid, political action, and communication, often with a documentarian-sci-fi-like hybrid approach, exploring utopia and dystopia in juxtaposition with our world and a parallel universe. Building spaces engaging with concepts such as learning or healing, through the reinterpretation of quotidian objects and symbols, such as the: Immigration Checkpoint, Freedom School, or Hospital Room. They work cross: textiles, photography, video, installation, and performance.

site: elektrakb.com | Instagram @elektrakb


Notes for a Horizon-tality: Toward the Possibility of Becoming Together as an Assemblage is a project that responds to our multiple and seemingly multiplying emergencies. Since the growing uncertainty of living in a world in crisis seems to continuously threaten the possibility of the future, this editorial initiative seeks to contribute to the growing scholarship on this topic from the perspective of Latin American contemporary art.


[1] Susan Sontag, Illness as Metaphor (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1978).