Geologic Subjectivities.
An Archaeology of the Unthought

performance, 2019

Design and Concept: Lodovica Guarnieri
Text: Lodovica Guarnieri and Carol Iglesias
Performance: Catarina Vieira
Music: Marco Tomesani
Portuguese Translation: Tiago Patatas

Commissioned by the Lisbon Architecture Triennal The Poetics of Reason 3.10-3.12.2019, as part of the Triennale’s programme of activities. Performed at the Museu Nacional de Arte Contemporanea do Chiado, 25/26.10.2019

Credits: Hugo David/Trienal de Lisboa

“In the past the emerging peaks of the Mid Atlantic Ridge, like the Azores archipelago, were occupied by seafaring nations and transformed into station points for the global movement of wealth. Now genetic formations endow the territory with a new occupation that builds on the genes of organisms like me.”

Geologic Subjectivities is an interactive performance, based on a multi-character narration of Portuguese and EU’s genome mining in the Atlantic Ocean. The script follows the history of Lisbon’s colonial architectures vis-a-vis the journey of the Pyrolobus Fumarii, a deep-sea bacteria currently tested for the development of new cosmetics. Touching on austerity policies, deep-sea investment, Portuguese offshore territories, and colonial, still powerful themes of “discovery and exploration”, the performance excavates the long duree of extractivism on the ocean, the city, and the human and non-human body. By asking the audience to act the part of specific characters and events, Geologic Subjectivities forces members of the public to negotiate the coloniality of their own subject position. At the same time, the performance exercises a de-colonial, interspecies world-making and invites practices of resistance. The libretto functions as an instrument of advocacy on current legal and activist battles around the issues tackled by the project.

Read the libretto here