The Quiet Ones

The Quiet Ones. Video. 4K (4096x2160). 22:45min. Color. Sound. Pittsburgh, 2021-2022. Selected Frame

    The Quiet Ones examines the complex trajectories of nonhuman instrumentalization through the stories and perspectives of one of the most frequently used model organisms for scientific research, mice. In collaboration with the collection of taxidermied mice models at the Center of PostNatural History in Pittsburgh, this video portrays a story of care and tender affects between the mice and a human that cares for them. With the spirit of a fable and utilizing diverse narrative registers that range from the poetic, the humorous, the anthropomorphic, and the sentimental, the piece brings forth the intricate origins of the mice and the regimes of labor, objectification, and violence in which they are embedded. The simple gestures of cleaning and care towards the mice summons them back to the realm of the living, and directs our attention to the unfathomable consequences of the production of knowledge: it unveils the limbo in which these nonhuman animals inhabit as objects, ghosts, and cultural artifacts.   In this piece, language also operates as a form of care, but also as a critical tool that reflects back at us. It reveals the underlying dynamics of dominion and instrumentalization of these beings that have been intentionally bred and genetically modified for the utilization of their bodies and the extraction of their vitality. But also, language prompts a reconsideration of the ways we treat nonhuman animals, and perhaps it can envisage other modes of relation with them.

The project was possible with the generous support and guidance of The Center of PostNatural History. This project was supported in part by funding from The Carnegie Mellon University Frank-Ratchye Fund for For Art @ the Frontier.  ︎︎︎Center for PostNatural History 🕸  🐐  🧫  🐁