Bodies exceed humanity. They remind us that we are part of something vaster—and smaller—more complex, more connected than our mere existence as an atomized species. Our bodies, and bodies in general, are comprised of heterogeneity and multitudes. All bodies are wet collective bodies defined by how they link to other bodies, places, environments, technologies. Think of breathing, clogging, decomposing, discharging, flushing, lubricating, melting, menstruating, transfusing. Bodies exist as trans- and extra-territorial beings. They live in hybridity. This porous condition produces a planetary wet-togetherness, a “commoning” force that constitutes all bodies as collective hydro-subjects.
Wet-Togetherness is a collaboration between e-flux and the 13th Shanghai Biennale, Bodies of Water, curated by Andrés Jaque, Marina Otero Verzier, Lucia Pietroiusti, Filipa Ramos, and YOU Mi, and organized and promoted by the Power Station of Art. It consists of nine sound pieces in which 21 artists, activists, and researchers enact aqueousness through sound. The series has been edited by José Luis Espejo and Rubén Coll, with sound design by Tomoko Sauvage, coordination by Roberto González García, and locutions by Yang Yang.
Episode 5. Melting: With two sound pieces by the artists Cao Minghao and Chen Jianjun (in collaboration) and Michael Wang
It is precisely at the melting point of a pure substance that solid and liquid forms coexist and produce each other. Glaciers and seas. Mountains and rivers. Molten rocks, soils, and climates. Entire worlds—several hundred to several thousand years old—melt into other worlds, making unexpected currents, struggles, and living conditions emerge.
Cao Minghao and Chen Jianjun reflect on the impact that local policies and post-disaster reconstruction plans had in the Minjiang River after the 2008 Sichuan earthquake, and the way they were mitigated and responded to by local traditions, ancient wisdom, and more-than-human intelligences.
Michael Wang’s sound piece is attuned to the complex territorial entanglements that connect Shanghai to the melting glaciers of the Tibetan plateau and to the course of the Yangtze River. Ultimately, this work interrogates the power and intrinsic violence of reversibility.