SELF as OTHER, or: speaking aut*
We, Anna Nygren (AnnaN/annan) and Barb Macek (barb/brab), started an exchange of thoughts about the meaning of "aut" – as in aut/istic and aut/oimmune – that became the initial point for a collaborative project. We want to investigate what it means to live as auts, to write about it in regard to everyday life, in regard to the medical discourses about autism and aut/oimmunity, and in regard to the view of the "others", the not-auts.
Beyond that, as writers we are also interested in the aut/hor-ror – as something that disturbs within or next to the aut and makes it scary, but also triggers something else, and thereby invites to a rethinking of aut/hor(ror)-ship.
In the context of language-based artistic research we seek to develop practices that allow for investigating the meaning of aut on different levels of our existence.
Anna works with miss-spellings: with Spells, the magic spells and rituals of witches, the magic, dark and blooming – the spelling of wor(l)ds finding hidden things in miss-takes. As for the OTHER, Anna became AnnaN – "annan" in swedish means "other", indicating the hidden thing inside her that is unknown, the autistic, the mysterious.
Barb’s practice aims at a different understanding of an immune system that shows autoimmune activity – that treats the immunological SELF as the immunological OTHER, and asks for the meaning of this confusion, or dissolution, with the aid of poetical means, like chance and repetition.
By exchanging our experiences with "being aut" we try to explore new wor(l)ds, we experiment with transgressing borders (self – other / human – nonhuman / something – nothing / …) not only on the level of language but also on the pictorial and material level.
* Speaking out and at the same time speaking as auts, but also speaking in a language called "aut"