I am interested in the pain and joy of symbiosis.

that murky maternal paradigm of collaborative paracisticism.

those spaces where the line between

benevolence and overwhelm, that rest in ambivalence.

The epidermis is the first embryonic structure to develop. it then extends inward in response to the push back of second layer. These two structures push back and forward to differentiate and make spaces for organs and capillaries. The space between is where, some would say, we find a sense of ‘soul’, our sense of spirit. The sense that we are both individuals and of communities and ecologies is in this movement of push and reach.

The space where we might find ourselves in between the push and reach, these micromovements of increasing nuance, is where we develp the possibility and ethics of response-ability.

Or as Haraway puts it, of

 ‘staying with the trouble’.

Staying with the trouble – an ongoing kind of gathering and relational re-orientating, outside of some apocolyptic, mars reaching fantasy of future of disembodied escapism…


‘What is symbiosis?’ Timothy Morton asks. Then answers: ‘It’s what’s for lunch.’

‘To Cleave is a Contronym.’ My sister once told me that.

‘We think with our limbs’ – also Timothy Morton, who seems to suggest we are not individuals but something of a landscape.

A moment of density in a shifting topography.

This work began as an attempt to find life (my own) in the ruins of capitalism. This attempt to find life beyond the tradable body necessitated multiple moments of making slippery. It started with the cakes as a multiplication of a certain kind of identity (white English femininity), proliferating further into the dystopic, complex conditions of their ingredients (also my own), entering the realm of the maternal – an in-vagination, a calling into relationship with – and the dis-ease of parasitic collaboration. Here, bodies eat and feed with no truck for the transcendent and no phantasy of escapism. The in-situ performance parts of this first process is shown in the studio apartment as photographic installation.

Johno Mellish, who often works with me as photographer, agreed to an apartment swap so that I could hold an exhibition and performance in his studio. My artistic collaboration with Johno these past few years has pulled the claustrophobic performativity of a heteronormative marriage plot along as its shadow. Here heteronormativity remains a spector as much as a gesture. Ours is a relationship mediated through love (or duty) of artistic labour. We sleep in the same bed but never at the same time, and ownership of the gaze is, by all usual accounts, confused.

This work is a search for material sentience in the mundane immediate: everything is alive, everything is in collaboration, everything is information. And yet it remains opaque. It is a dance with a shifting unknown, inside and out. A state of staying with the trouble. Outside the patriarchal narratives of success and failure global burnout and expansive capitalisms, it is looking and listening for new reasons to move.