In Reproduction

In Reproduction

‘In Reproduction’, by Jillian Toshie Suyono

Joints and tendons creak as bodies abruptly form structures. Legends tell of rat kings.
Avoid it, disavow it, condemn it, but some part of you is some part of that creature.
In reproduction we convey our experiences.

It is night. Flecks of fluorescent light skip across blinking eyes. With them come an unpleasant dry
sensation, a musty filing cabinet for a mouth. On the table are hundreds of indistinguishable dyes
and devices. Nothing will coalesce to a whole. These items aren’t thoughts. They aren’t even parts of
thoughts. They are soon-to-be thoughts. Putting them together seems cruel, one configuration will
always rule out another. For a while it seems better to leave it all alone and leave all finished
products eternally complete in their lack of a shape. But you can’t ignore the ghost. You must meet
the quota. Your eyes are sore, your breath a leather sofa. At times you do not know whether you are
awake. Although the sun rises, you skip morning.

You lose all sense of time and perspective. There is nothing to add and nothing to cut. You are
satisfied, but in every day that follows, your work stares back at you accusingly. You had killed it, and
its corpse was a trophy.

It continues speaking to you. Only now it tells you of other choices to make. Even today, there are so
many futures available to you. Choosing narrows these realities down so far that no real choice
appears to be present whatsoever.

The voice becomes intolerable. No matter how far away, it seems omnipresent. You attack it with
every tool at your disposal. You erase it, slash at it, scrape it. Where there is dead completeness, you
long for the living, breathing terror of chaos. There is no more doing this right. Your only hope is to
reveal the voice for what it is, to force it back into its unbearable fathoms. How could it ever let you
be done? From out there, beyond stars obscured by searing daylight, it utters one last instruction:
good morning and start again. You open its eyes and look into its engine. There is joy: It laughs
uproariously and demands you do the same. There is freedom: New arms sprout from your body,
rocks soar, like an origami crane fired from a gun. There is toil: The rocks are heavy.


Still from ‘Guest People’, a video artwork featured in Jillian’s solo exhibition, “guestpeople”, Tokyo

About the Artist

Jillian Toshie Suyono is a visual artist residing in Tromsø, Norway. She currently works with digital and video works exploring the relation between technology and society, as well as the relation between art and the people it is meant to reach.