Automine asks: what are bodies worth in the digital age? And answers this question through a performance of the performance through which bodies create value, for themselves, but most likely for others.
Bodies create value through physical labour, bodies create value by emotional labour, bodies also create value by mining the identifying markers attached to bodies, my gender, my sexuality, my story, all of these markers have value, but the value of these markers change through space and time, as society changes, as politics changes, and as the body changes, ages, decays.
As the virtual replaces the real, the body should disappear. But does it really? Automine seeks an answer through, music, essay and a critical recitation of queer aesthetics in the third decade of the twenty first century.
HYENAZ present their musical works as immersive performance intervention. A performance asks that bodies are present: as performer, as audience, as active interlocutor. The assembling of bodies together for the purpose of performance – and the proximity of those bodies to experience or create together – is in itself a practice of (re)discovery of the politics of sharing physical space and the immanent territory of the flesh.
AUTOMINE brings together performative and audio-visual work that has been developed through Foreign Bodies, a 7-year long research project that explores relationships of bodies in motion, bodies in relation, and bodies in resistance. Through the visceral and explicit body, HYENAZ interrogate mechanisms that treat the body as a foreign object—a thing to be managed and controlled, an unknown territory even to itself, an “other” to be feared or annihilated.
Central to this project is the idea that the body is disappearing: from social interactions blasted into the corporate cloud, to machine intelligence tangled in the systems that govern life, to techno-futurists fantasies of an age where analogue flesh has vanished into digital consciousness. At this uncanny juncture, where surfaces look familiar but everything is shifting, HYENAZ claw to the presence of the body and the knowledge contained therein.
AUTOMINE pushes Foreign Bodies deeper into questions around a/Arts and extractivism, where “extraction” is utilized as metasignifier for the extraction of (creative) labour from (precarious) bodies; the mining of minerals, gas and water from the ground; the taking and recording of sounds, words and images from sentient beings; the seemingly consensual extraction of digital content, and the “mining of the exotic” from our very identities.