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The Accomplice


Accomplices have an enduring mutual relatedness that carries consequences.

This can also be said about objects, especially daily objects whose lives and deaths are in fact deeply intertwined with our own lives and even deaths.

The screen - has become our best and worst accomplice.

We are interacting talking through it now.

We can't deny the ways it has influence over us. Some might call this agency even.

But as we often do with other things and beings, we take it for granted.

If we design tools as obedient servants like Siri, it misses the point.

We hurt ourselves in casting us the role of the master.

There is no lack of anthropomorphizing.

And yet our relentless consummation of raw materials creates inhumane suffering.

It is needed to produce ever bigger and newer and faster tools.

They are cast away. Far away. Recycled they will be and let me tell you so are you.

You can watch anything being destroyed on YouTube.

But it is impossible to fully destroy nature. Nothing ever leaves the earth.

Planned obsolescence is an obliteration.

A criminal forgetting of all the lives that are connected with our tools.

So I propose another way of looking like the tools we have created.

This is no naive critique.

Us being together now depends on them.

But if we were to see the screen that connects us to the world, as a body.

It brings events and people closer to us that are distant in location or time.

(A good practice in synchronicity)

It is a portal...but it also works as a shield.

We have become used to its magic.

We are desensitized to the images flickering over the screen.

They are far away...which is a fallacy.

The screen can even make our own bodies seem like a distant world.

We can use our own body as a backdrop for a Sci-fi film.

The screen itself is a body. It has a materiality. It touches our eyes.

Electricity is material.

Lightenings leave lightening shaped scars on our body.

The screen can make us aware of itself, tell us about its own origin:

Liquid crystals are a material that is in between liquid and solid.

An inbetween state, that the screen produces perpetually.

(Videos that show plankton in the sea)

Materials such as plastic are basically dead plankton and glas is molten sand.

The ACCOMPLICE is closely related to the Haraways notion of companion or kin.

It proposes an interaction with other objects and beings.

from onsidedness to a relationship that is based on Reciprocity,

accountability for one another

It is a self critical engagement with that role we take in a relationship

And it reframes working together as accomplices.

Bound by a common goal.

This is also an exploration of CRITICAL EMPATHY

 “A concept that emphasizes the limitations and complications of empathy from reflexive perspectives. It does not only refer to the process of imaging another person’s point of view or emotional state, but also to an awareness of the limitations and complications of empathy.”
— DeStigter, Todd.(1999)

Which also relates directly to Haraways insights:

“If you take anybody seriously, one of the things you learn is not knowing. That’s one thing I learned from Cayenne and my other dogs. Not knowing is a quasi-Buddhist value. And the appreciation of not knowing and letting that be is something you learn in a serious relationship. It’s a kind of letting go. Not knowing and being with each other not knowing.”





A central element within the research is the notion of ‘The Accomplice’, which considers technological tools, such as for instance an LCD screen in the video installation ‘THE LIFE AND DEATH OF THE ACCOMPLICE’ (2019), as counterparts rather than obedient objects.