This special episode has been commissioned by Castlefield Gallery in Manchester, as an extension of their current show, Soft Bodies, which never opened physically due to the lockdown. Megan Snowe and I are both in that show and come together with the writer Raj Parameshwaran to discuss Soft Bodies and all that this theme evokes and its particular relevance at this strange time. As part of this episode we feature a track by Semi Precious, present in Jake Moore's video piece, from the show. The gallery are hoping to open In August. Following this episode there will be a short piece of writing in response to our discussion and it's themes, written by Raj, available at https://www.castlefieldgallery.co.uk/event/upcoming-soft-bodies/.
Megan Snowe, Raj Parameswaran and I talk about confusion and low humidity, about being miserable but otherwise fine and about nuptual flying ants. Megan and Raj are in the US, still restricted under Covid 19, and we mention the adjustment to the realisation that this situation is long term, a marathon. Megan gets into her sensuous self portraits questioning how we inhabit non-physical spaces and whether, with the increase in online presence, there can be a sensual element of ourselves online. She talks about her drawings, that feature in the Castlefield exhibition, which are made directly and without planning or intention and created through meditative blending and form finding. We describe these forms, sometimes piercing or entering one another and connect this to undefended human spaces, vulnerable to invisible germs, the virus, and recently police violence. We talk about arousal and disgust and look into megan's 'A Wipe', a sensual celebration of bodily detritus. We delve into some of Raj's short stories, and consider what can safely be removed from the body and what does it become then? We talk about societal body trash and the physical implications of our zoom image, shed all over the web. We talk about phantom limb treatment, healing things from images and Megan's 'ticklish' drawings. We talk about thinking with your mouth, chewing as a trigger and language as sensual. We talk about skinlessness and skin as a haptic canvas. We talk about intimacy and invasion and how to bridge the gaps. We talk about skin shedding and the expansive self. We talk about dirty laughing at your own drawings, picking your nose as a sensory experience, processing zones and the different ways the body can be penetrated. We talk about the limits of signification and the body as a hard limit and celebrate our love and use of language. We talk about the importance of communtity, the spirit of activism and feeling connected and intimate with strangers through protest.
With thanks to Gass Pendergast and Helen Wewiora at Castlefield Gallery. And thanks to Jake Moore and Semi Precious for the closing track.
Small Body 03
Graphite on paper
Raj's Twitter @elephantbot
Produced, composed, mixed & sung by Semi Precious
Additional synths & piano by Aviram Barath
Mastered by Nick Powell
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