In Kurt Vonnegut’s Galapagos, a brilliant, hauntingly prophetic science fiction novel, the human species adapts seal fur and loses its prefrontal cortex, evolving to survive a marooned island existence. As the seas rise, and our air thickens with greenhouse gases, questions of where humanity is headed have come to the fore. Swiss sound artist and musician, Simon Grab, presents an aural mediation on humanity’s teleological end with his 2020 album, Anthropocene Panic. The artist has now repackaged the original sounds of his post-humanist album, enlisting the help of a slew of DJs and sound artists. As Anthropocene Panic / Remixes hits cassette players, Paula Monesterolo’s award winning music video for the album’s Necrosis track, is certainly worth a watch.
Whereas Grab’s album meditates on the existential conclusion of humanity’s brief time on this earth, the Argentinian audio-visual director and cinematographer “considered whether it was possible to imagine and create a new body, and a new natural order, with limited resources. This is where technology appears to make it possible.” Truly multidisciplinary in approach, Monesterolo investigates “the fusion between body-space-technologies through cinema, dance, electronic music, and new imaging technologies, such as 3D sculptures.” With an extensive background in ballet, Monesterolo is uniquely attuned to body language. She says that “​​music awakens lots of different sensations in me, which consequently creates movements and vibrations, and that’s how, through my body, I travel to an imaginary space where I find those images.” In this way, she first approached Grab’s album alone in her apartment, freely moving as the music worked upon her mind and body.

She met the film’s protagonist, Sofia, in a virtual dance course, an experience she would remember after being approached for the Necrosis video. Sofia then introduced her to the rest of the film’s talented cast. Instead of beginning with a visual approach, as most film directors do, Monesterolo primarily investigated “through the dance itself, what were the ultimate consequences these humans would go through in this new and advanced era, the Anthropocene.” This attention to embodied experience is evident in the video. As the project reaches its climactic end, the titular concept of Necrosis is invoked, and each dancer works through a different biological failure; “Facu couldn't walk, Iso couldn't see, Isaac lost control of his arm movements and Miru couldn't centre his view on a single specific point”.

A glowing orb, covered in varicose veins, rendered pulsating using animated 3D animation is carried by Sofia throughout, and is at the heart of Monesterolo’s visual manifest. The director thinks “of that glowing object as a uterus, an object that carries within it the chance of an evolution in the human race.” Carrying forth this orb in the post-apocalyptic final choreography, Sofia is “the symbolic mother of the new species”, bringing humanity to a new age. Neither celebratory, nor especially mournful, Monesterolo’s video allows us to imagine our collective future, which seems closer each day.
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