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In-Sect derives its inspiration from an art residency at Lake Studios Berlin in 2018, whereby I explored psychological and physical human transformation towards kinship with insects. Cultivations of gender, sexuality and class were lost to dysmorphic expressions of Otherkin – insect-like and animalesque humans. The related drawings below, and the performance artworks Her Abyss – especially Bugs, Birds and Fireflies, were created during this time.

In a spring 2024 residency at Prisma Estúdio Lisboa, In-Sect becomes a community-focused art project throughout Lisbon communities. People who I meet along my travels will participate in creative moments and workshops to create miniature insect representations – from memory or imagination.

Some of the insects will be constructed from easily accessible objects, such as paper, leaves, twigs and string. Others may be fleeting representations of imitative hand gestures and sound recordings.

Throughout my travels, mini sculptures, images and sounds of the community-made miniature insect representations will be shared over social media. Towards the end of my travels, select insect representations will come to life in human-size through shadow projections and amplified sound.

The concept of In-Sect is about empathizing (being “in”) with insects and creating a new belief/understanding (sect) of insects and our relationships with them. The project provokes thought about what we know of insects and how we care about our relationships with them. In-Sect draws close-up attention to humans’ interconnected relationships with insects, acknowledges the criticality of insects’ existence for life on earth, and confronts humans’ powers (and possible fears) over insects.

Recent inspirations for In-Sect include: Pedro Feijó’s 16th-century “Portuguese witches of animal-like affinities;” the shapeshifting of Hemimetabolous insects, not involving larvae in their transformation; and the Portuguese folklore legends of “Mouros and Mouras,” an underground (and sometimes giant) supernatural human-like race who inhabited the lands since the beginning of time. Early visual research involves a visit to the ROM’s Insect & Arachnid collection.

  2023  /  drawing  /  Last Updated May 14, 2024 by tascencao  /