Wormshine (2022, ongoing)

Video, live performance, writing, collage

“Wormshine” is a new, ongoing research project that considers the figure of the worm as an embodied metaphor – a queer body, a soft body, a vulnerable body, one that encourages us to look down instead of up and that ceaselessly turns the soil level the inequalities we would otherwise be standing on. It sits in the wider context of my practice which, due to the recent acceleration of environmental, political and social crises and heightened sense of precarity, has become more directly concerned with methods of communal survival and non-human-centric ways-of-being. Recent work has been exploring what we as humans can learn about new-world-building from observing the multispecies entanglements we are a part of. Specifically, how the other creatures, organisms and intelligences we share this planet with come together in hidden, surprising and dynamic ways.

Performance documentation, Berlin, 2022. Performer Iro Costello. Photo by James Barnett.

“Wormshine” is a new thread of this research that utilises choreography/somatics, video, text and collage as methods of free-exploring the potential not only of the worm-body but of compost, darkness, stillness and softness. I am interested in processes of layering and loss and the experimental juxtaposition of choreographic work with text (written, spoken), video and collage-making. Through it I am interested in exploring softness and vulnerability as signs of strength; spineless-ness and slippery-ness as modes of resistance; minor gestures and small traces; the hidden labour of the worm and work that goes unseen.

Performance documentation, Berlin, 2022. Performer Iro Costello. Photo by James Barnett.

“I am starting to refer to something as soiled when it is rich with activity, or deep, meaningful, life-giving. I am looking down instead of up. The crawling worm is not the lowest of creatures. The worm smooths the ground beneath our feet in its turning and turning and turning of the earth. This quiet work slowly levels the inequalities we would otherwise be standing on. A lone worm writhes in the soil at night, moonlight glistening from its soft, moist body. The worm speaks about softness as strength; about the invisible labour of turning the earth; and about awareness of the entanglements we share.”

Performance documentation, Berlin, 2022. Performer Iro Costello. Photo by James Barnett.

To date "Wormshine" has been presented as a published text, live performance, two channel video, developing Unreal Engine project and a series of collages. The research is ongoing.

Two channel video installation, Berlin, 2022

first be animated, then grow roots