Dissociative Times 2023
We live in dissociative times.
When sexual violence is a cross industry ‘known secret’, the climate crisis is out doing our worst predictions amidst continued oil drilling, queerness is it’s own global market whilst Trans people are scapegoated and demonised, multiple ongoing wars are barely reported on and some lives are valued more than others, COVID is discussed as a thing of the past as people get continually sick and immune compromised people have to keep shielding, anti racism vocabulary is used to virtue signal whilst violence against black and brown people continues, billionaries are developing AI largely to take away people’s jobs rather than make life easier, and we are continually gaslit by governments and world bodies - we dissociate. We scroll on, look for a quick dopamine hit to calm the spiked cortisol, and get back to the thing we were trying to distract ourselves from in the first place. All the while the multiplicitous swirl of terrifying, competing contradictions and unbelievable antagonisms continue somewhere deep in our bodies. We want to do something, but how? When? And who should do what? We don’t know what we can do, it’s all too much - but we can dissociate.
I am going to work with academics, researchers, artists, scientists, and further research literature, philosophy, psychotherapy, tech, community work, organising and activism to explore responses to our pluro-crises and the feeling of distraction. What is the quality of our dissociation? Its particular contemporary contours? Where do we go when we dissociate? What happens in our bodies? In which ways are we having to, to survive? In which ways are we being forced to, to remain immobilised? What is this doing to our collective psychology? Our brain chemistry? What is the long term effect on the body? What is the effect on history? Is dissociating a privilege? What is good about it? Does it have creative uses? What are its processes? How can you visualise it? Wake up from it?