Becoming Leeches: Episode 1 – Having Dinner, ver. 1 has been reviewed in Jennifer Parker-Starbuck’s essay, Becoming-Leech: Animal–human–technological hybrid exchanges in the new issue of Performance Research: A Journal of the Performing Arts, Volume 25, Issue 4, 2020, The Centre for Performance Research Ltd, Aberystwyth, Wales, UK
Becoming-Leech Animal–human–technological hybrid exchanges
This article develops the notions of ‘hybridity’ through animal-human-technological triangulations, focussing primarily on the performance art, VR installation work, Becoming Leeches: Episode 1—Having dinner, by artist Doo-Sung Yoo. In this work, humans and living leeches ‘power’ animated counterparts in VR to journey through a toxic world to attempt to heal the planet. The piece presents a hybrid experience/experiment in which humans can better recognize their positionality alongside non-human elements, and also shift the human participant into an active, embodied role within a network of hybrid ‘becoming’ that simulates a shared experience. The article examines questions of hybridity in this cyborgean experience and examines how VR technologies can place humans in the position of the nonhuman other to offer new modes of interrelating between live and virtual networks through which we might become more resilient and willing to work together. In this interwoven network of human and non-human, complicated further by technological entities, we must begin to become hybrid.