In the Nameless Hour of the Night (or, an Ordinary Form of Love)
In the Nameless Hour of the Night. Video. 4k (3840x2160). 32:53 min, Black and White. Sound. 2021-2022. Sample (32sec): https://vimeo.com/687455753
In the Nameless Hour of the Night follows the nocturnal wanderings of a group of mice that inhabit the kitchen of my living space. Filmed with a motion-activated camera, it portrays glimpses of the mice's explorations, escapes, and encounters during the span of a year. In consonance with the isolation and withdrawal brought by the Covid-19 pandemic, the piece draws our attention to the intricate inner worlds unfolding in our living spaces. By revealing a playful yet serious world of mouse sovereignties, the video offers glimpses to one of the simplest modes of multispecies coexistence: a domestic ecology. In this realm, the mice are not a metaphor, an undifferentiated body, or an afterthought, but the center of a world that is gazed upon by them. By utilizing non-anthropocentric strategies of representation that allow us to come in contact with different forms of sentience and meaning-making, the mice become the subjects, witnesses, and creators of a world and the human, just a register among many. We, as the observers, transform into the intruders of a space that seems familiar but also shape-shifting and mysterious. The presence of the mice also establishes a critical crossroad that brings forth some of the paradoxical and complicated ways we interact with nonhuman animals. Also, the work offers an opportunity to reconfigure the ways we represent animality and engage differently with beings we never consider as individuals. Ultimately, In the Nameless Hour of the Night is a tender invitation to cultivate generous attentiveness towards other modes of being, and a recognition of the constellation of the infinite variations of forms, bodies, whiskers, and feelers that fill the world with diverse perceptions and agencies.
This project is supported in part by funding from The Carnegie Mellon University Frank-Ratchye Fund for For Art @ the Frontier and Graduate Small project Gush Research Grant.