CUnT-SPLICING THOUGHT-FORMS : Promiscuous Play with Quantum Physics and Spirituality

Sammanfattning: CUnT-SPLICING THOUGHT-FORMS — Promiscuous Play with Quantum Physics and Spirituality could perhaps best be described as an invocation of excited states. In more ways than one, this dissertation indulges in a weird threesome between quantum thinking, tantric practices, and feminist theory, with artistic practice at its core. It proposes the term “cunt-splicing”—a reference to ropework and the so-called cunt splice (a.k.a. cut splice) knot. A tool to conceptualize the rubbing and knitting together of fields as (seemingly) distinct as quantum physics, feminist theory, and tantric technology, in order to examine how changing fibers, flows, and currents can generate excited states. This dissertation argues that cunt-splicing thought-forms differ from New Age concepts such as those found in quantum mysticism, which tends to reduce the fluid complexities of physics to fixed metaphors for spiritual truths. Feminist theorist Karen Barad’s notion of agential realism situates the theoretical framework in a queer tradition, exploring the innate “perversity” of particles and the mind-bending queerness of quantum field theory. The works of Barad, Alfred North Whitehead, Niels Bohr, Wolfgang Pauli, Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, Lee Lozano, Ann Weinstone, Annie Besant, and Donna Haraway function as a many-headed apparatus of thinking-through-with. Equally important, this dissertation uses tantric technologies that stem from my lived engagement with kundalini and tantric practices. Approaching artworks as entangled fields to think-through-with, the text is pulled by the weightiness of situated knowledge and embodied experience. CUnT-SPLICING THOUGHT-FORMS — Promiscuous Play with Quantum Physics and Spirituality poses the following questions: How does the process of cunt-splicing galvanize excited states—and the perversion inherent in both quantum and tantric systems? And how can these paradoxical states be activated in artmaking—and to what end? The first knot, background radiation, introduces the phenomena of excited states and the quantum/tantric domain of cunt-splicing. The second knot has GRAVITATIONAL RIPPLES (the Swedish memorial honoring the lives lost in the Indian Ocean Tsunami in 2004) at its core. This sensitive fieldwork speaks to the bending of space-time itself, investigating the concept of waves in relation to excited states. The third knot is rooted in works revolving around the neutrino particle. Propelled by my stay at CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research), as well as conversations with scientists from CERN and the Niels Bohr Institute, the work contains references to the historical records of physicist Wolfgang Pauli. The fourth knot looks at some of the string-figures that are woven into cunt-splicing, functioning as an additional cord between the first knot and the sixth. The fifth knot spins around the exhibition STRIPPED (2020–21) at Moderna Museet, Stockholm, and Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen. STRIPPED can be viewed as an agitated and erogenous meditation on excited and exhausted states, colliding different concepts relating to energy, knowledge, and spirituality. The sixth and concluding knot proposes that an irreverent, double-tongued play has the potential to boost excited states in artistic practices. Much like un/holy instances of glossolalia that blurt out multitudes of bizarre revelations, excitation is an elevation of energy, a perverse and transformative process of radiation and decay. A cuntopology of spooky sensitizations and hard-core intimacies. In artmaking practices, an excited state is never done or undone. As such, cunt-splicing thought-forms can best be thought of as vessels of outrageous intimacies—a joining of spheric and fleshy matters.