Presented at HillsceneLIVE Festival of Live Art, Cut 31 was an attempt to sever the material, industrialised human concept from the human animal, through a durational, embodied, and interactive process.
A 31 hour performance piece with a participatory end – Cut 31 was an exercise in listening,
in re-worlding, and making kin. An attempt to sever the human from reason and shift into the human-animal body. The Artist fasted, and wove a human sized nest from an introduced species of plant- a vessel to signify an arrival and a departure. In the final hours of CUT 31 the audience was invited to lie in the nest and reflect, to make kin with their animal selves, and their animal death.
We are living in times of mass extinction. The current relationship between contemporary, western humans and the biosphere must be reconsidered. A psychology of commodification, of consumption and a privileging of the human over other species has led to a catastrophic environmental state.
If we can undergo a philosophical reframing – come to understand ourselves as one component of an enmeshed and interdependent biosphere, where no living thing is inferior, only different- perhaps we can reform our behaviour before it is too late.
But to accept our status as animal, is to face our own mortality as we witness the destruction of natural habitats and mass extinction. Is the human relationship to ecocide bound up in the human relationship to morality?
CUT 31 is an invitation to consider the time of death in which we live, and participate. To stay with the discomfort in the hope that in doing so, we might build resilience to address these confronting and uncomfortable issues collaboratively – to come back into relationship with the non-human world, and with our human selves, in the process.
This is how we quiet, this is how we make kin, let me tell you how we died.
Performance Art, 31 Hours, HillsceneLIVE Festival 2018