On endocrinological metamorphosis

About:

re_Productive narratives are dwelling on micro-performative strategies for the invention of new molecular sensibilities that would reshape forms of collective techno-political living.

Premise:

in vitro extracting stem cells from my menstrual blood and transforming them into reproductive cells.


Objective:

to establish a hands-on research and to compose a discourse about (post)reproductive body. As an object of the political management of living, the contemporary body serves as a prosthesis for biotechnologies that are used as surveillance for governing civil society. Our reproductive bodies are therefore means of production: if one wants to procreate, there’s viagra; if one doesn’t want to procreate, there’s a contraception pill. When one transitions into menopause there’s a cocktail of estrogens and progesterone.


Artistic context:

five years ago I was focussing on serotonin, four years ago, I was producing prolactine and oxytocin (as a collateral hormone), three years ago, I was consuming progesteron and estrogen beta blockers in order for them to pour through my reproducive system that
consequently produced more eggs, then went to an IVF clinic for a collection. Now: Gjino and I are going through the endocrinological metamorphosis (I have been facing menopausal transition, Gjino is going through a recovery of a brain surgery) =) we are both starting to inhabit our new bodies.

POINT OF DEPARTURE:

ocytocin, serotonin, cortisole (stress induced), the estrogens, progesterone, gonadotropins, testosterone and so on, correspond to the group of molecules available on the market for the manufacturing of subjectivity and its affects. reProductive narratives is a sequel of ongoing projects that question this paradigm =) all this hormones have been colonized to become a living political prosthesis =) they are working in the service of capital production and the reproduction of the species. These are the hormones that co-build our subjectivity as it is expected to be composed by society. Outside such somato-political ecology of “sperm and egg carriers,” there are neither men nor women, just as there is neither heterosexuality nor homosexuality, neither ableness nor disability. When I bring up the idea of a rift introduced by the notion of gender, I’m referring to a superimposition of strata in which different techniques of producing and managing life are interlacing and overlapping. Human and non-human mapping becomes dependent on the legal and commercial management of molecules essential to the production of phenotypes (external signs) that are culturally recognized as female or male (facial hair, size and shape of the genitals, voice register . . . ), as well as on the technopolitical management of the reproduction of the species and on the pharmacological control of our immune systems and their resistance to aggression, illness, and death.

Our bodies are giant laboratories where all the above mentioned hormones are produced and reenforced with the help of external pharmacologycal and technologycal tools. We are all biotechnological beings belonging to the system, whose goal is the production, reproduction, and colonial expansion of (heterosexual) human life on the planet.


Question: How to turn pharmacological and biomedical hegemony upside down?
Answer: By using these hormones as agents to revert their political prosthesis status through a body hack, while employing the same pharmacologycal and technologycal tools.
Next question: How to establish strategic alliance in order to subvert a series of new technologies of the body (biotechnology, surgery, endocrinology, genetic engineering, etc.) and representation (social networks, photography, movies industry, internet, video games, etc.) that infiltrate and penetrate our daily life like never before?

TOOLS FOR ENDOCRINOLOGICALY INDUCED MANAGEMENT OF SUBJECTIVITY

REPRODUCTIVE CELLS: reproductive representation is inscribed within the structure of the living being by surgical, endocrinological, and genetic techniques. The act of technologically producing my own reproductive cells from menstrual blood outside of my body dissrupts the power relationship between the subject (who is usually an IVF doctor, a ginecologyst, a biotechnologyst) and the object of representation (who is a female patient approached through her reproductive system, while her individual subjectivity is not important). => the reproductive cell is therefore an ontological catalyst, making explicit agency that wouldn’t be able to emerge any other way.

MENSTRUATION: a phantasmatic and molecular “wonder” that has potential to be transformed into capital.

MENOPAUSAL TRANSITION: induces nonfertile body as a biopower prosthesis. In the biomolecular and organic structure of the body power acts through molecules that reshape our bodies, its function and our perception; neurotransmitters alter our perceptions and behavior; hormones produce their systemic effects on our behaviour and perception of the environment, hunger, sleep, sexual arousal, aggressiveness, and the social (de)coding of our femininity and masculinity. The body no longer inhabits disciplinary spaces but is inhabited by them. Could the non fertile (menopausal body) be the last hiding place from these biopolitical systems of control?

SCIENCES AS TECHNOLOGIES OF PRODUCTION OF TRUTH
Our visible body is only one of the parameters of our subjectivity. The invention of gender as an organizing principle was necessary for the appearance and development of pharmacological techniques for the “normalization” and transformation of living beings (humans and animals)—a process that includes archiving (data, photos, videos) cellular diagnosis, hormonal analysis and therapy, chromosomal readings, and surgery. Photography, invented at the end of the nineteenth century, before the appearance and perfection of hormonal and surgical techniques, signaled a crucial stage in the production of the new sexual subject and its visual truth. Of course, this process of representation of the body had already begun in the seventeenth century with anatomical and pornographic drawings, but it is photography that would endow this technical production of the materiality of the body with the merit of visual realism. I am however not interested in the discoursive paradigm regarding reproduction and gender within the FEMALE body per se. Instead, I am through the laboratory based empirical process theoreticaly interested in the metaposition which addresses women of all genders by employing queer theory as a point of departure: Judith Butler introduced the largest and most acute critique of both gender-sex epistemology and the grammar of feminism. For Butler, gender is a system of rules, conventions, social norms, and institutional practices that performatively produce the subject they claim to describe. Through a cross-referenced reading of Austin, Derrida, and Foucault, Butler reaches a consideration of gender in which it is no longer an essence or psychological truth, but a discursive, corporal, and performative practice by means of which the subject acquires social intelligibility and political recognition. Today, this Butlerian analysis comes together with Donna J. Haraway’s lessons for examining the semiotechnical dimension of this performative production: pushing the performative hypothesis further into the body, as far
as its organs and fluids; drawing it into the cells, chromosomes, and genes.

=)

CONCLUSION
The hormonal becomes political through (bio – and farmacologycal -) technology that works in the service of market ideology, whereas the non institutional biomedical, pharmacologycal and biotechnologycal discourse is opening the way for new forms of resistance and political action. The pharmacologic body is not a passive living matter but an interface of organs and physiology, a techno-living system segmented by different data-processing, biochemical and political technologies. I am putting this technology on the stage of biocapitalist amusement show that we’re all a part of. Reproductive cells exctracted from a perimenopausal body’s
menstruation are a product looking into a mirror of this biopower.

Quotes from: Testo Junkie, Paul B. Preciado (2013)