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The Future is Fallible
Photo: Courtesy of Philadelphia Museum of Art


The Future is Fallible

by Kat J. Sullivan

Note: The format of this review mirrors text that was written and recited in the performance. Lines below in quotation marks are taken directly from BodyMeld’s text. A copy of the original is available on their website.

 

My body sits here

Cold on concrete

Bone and stone.

The future is behind me.

Zornitsa* descends

Diana to Andromeda

Are you there?

She could be me

She is me before.

Swathed in gold

Billowing.

 

On either side

Projections onto pillars

A woman’s body engulfs

Is engulfed—

Metallic Mylar membranes.

At the base of the Great Stair Hall

Rhonda* breathes, enigmatic;

She is not human

She is looking back.

I am alone.

A golden triad

Rhonda, Elba*, Megan*

Meld their gaze to greet

Zornitsa bows.

 

Andromeda lives

Android Media

Do you believe in the future?

Their faces tic.

What’s the difference

Between human and cyborg

Facial recognition?

Their wrists softer

Circling

Atop jagged elbows.

Behind them,

A massive Mylar organ

Rises, inflates, engulfs

Each in turn.

They disappear

I am here.

“Recycled bodies in other bodies

Recycled bodies in other bodies.”

 

On a screen above

Their faces split

Envelop themselves;

A voice

Automaton ghost

“I live inside you.”

The future is not young

It’s so close

Don’t be afraid.

Inside the Mylar womb

A whisper of a hand

Shadows with flashlights move inside.

How did we get here?

On the screen Zornitsa

Melds herself

Disrupts her data.

 

The voice now urgent—

“Do you believe in love?”

The humanity disarms me.

The bodies puncture the Mylar

It thrashes.

Tears fall from my sockets.

It convulses.

What is the emoticon for crying?

Will we code our deaths?

Delete

Abort

Bodies emerging.

Do you want to restart after shutting down?

Reborn

Remade in my recycled image

Birth is inevitable.

They lift the Mylar skin above their heads

Carry it up the steps.

It sweeps over my head

So close

Yet I only graze it

With fingertips.

AndroMeda, BodyMeld, Friday Remix at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, January 31.

 

*The full names of the performers are Zornitsa Stoyanova, Rhonda Moore, Elba Hevia y Vaca, and Megan Bridge. Stoyanova, Moore, and Bridge contribute to thINKingDANCE.



By Kat J. Sullivan
February 8, 2020

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