#MemoryoftheUniverse | “Syria Planum: For Water for Oil”, 7:22 TRT
As more humans and other animals are displaced due to climate change and drought, petropolitical wars will be overshadowed by urgent needs such as access to fresh water. “Syria Planum: For Water for Oil” is the first edition of #MemoryoftheUniverse, a work of speculative fiction combined with current real-life global events. It covers difficult and controversial intersectional social and political issues in a posthuman world. Some subjects explored are the Anthropocene, petropolitical and water wars, nationalism, colonialism, politics and ethics in science and technology, drones and “militainment”, terrorism, refugees, and exploitation of humans and other animals. Historically, the bodies and reproductive organs of women and cows have been subjugated in patriarchal societies. The protagonist in this work is half-human, half-cow. She wanders the desolate Martian landscape, including the Syria Planum, and bears witness to the destructive behavior of humans. As the world looks away from crimes that are unmet with restitution, their aftermaths resonate in the dark recesses of our minds and metaphorically, continue to live in the memory of the universe, eternally recurring, until we find ways to change our consciousness and current state of affairs.
Alysse Stepanian is a Los Angeles-based transmedia artist and independent curator. Her creative work, research and writings are focused on the effects of nationalism and politics of fear, and the importance of intersectionality in fighting injustices such as racism, sexism and speciesism. She has lectured about interconnected oppressions at the Pori Art Museum in Finland (2015), Malmö Konsthall in Sweden (2014), and Museo Ex Teresa Arte Actual in Mexico City (2013). Her upcoming exhibitions include Now&After’16 at The State Darwin Museum (Moscow, 2016). Other exhibition venues include Museum London (Canada 2013), Freies Museum (Berlin 2012), Contemporary Museum (Baltimore, USA 2011), Arad Art Museum (Romania 2011), Anthology Film Archives (New York City 2011), and Center For Contemporary Arts (Santa Fe, New Mexico 2010). Stepanian is the creator and curator of Manipulated Image video art screenings and multimedia events, and URBAN RANCH PROJECT, an “animal” advocacy and social and environmental activism arts venue based on Facebook. Her collaborations include multimedia installations created with Philip Mantione under the name BOX 1035 in Kunsthaus Tacheles (Berlin), Imagine Gallery (Beijing), and the Islip Art Museum (New York). Their works are multi-sensorial, with social, political, psychological and philosophical references, and with an emphasis on post-911 color-coded politics of fear.