Part of ONE WORK
ONE WORK is a series of online discussion events to think more deeply about how an artwork came into being. Focusing closely on a single work, these generous discussions provide space for an artist to present a recent work and talk through the work’s creation. The events are accompanied by a month-long online screening and specially commissioned written response published on the LUX Scotland website.
Rae-Yen Song took part in a ONE WORK event with us in July, presenting and discussing, ‘wūûūwūûū’ (2021).
‘wūûūwūûū’ is a 2D animation, in which digital drawing is combined with pen and fibre-tipped markers on paper, to create a vivid, self-contained realm of interconnected beings and spaces.
‘wūûūwūûū’ offers a mutating, ever-shifting vision of worlds within worlds within worlds. It introduces a cast of obscure, interconnected creatures, who variously consume, inhabit and host each other, in an ongoing, cyclical symbiosis of survival. Bodies do what bodies do: eat and excrete; sing and dance; come and go. Moments of levity and menace combine with elemental forces and unstoppable motions to form a distinctive, disorientating, but somehow harmonious process.
The characters and topographies of‘wūûūwūûū’ form a bewildering but balanced ecosystem: they end where they begin. They appear alien and transient, but seem to bear an oblique wisdom, having something to teach us about ego and impermanence, in a world in which our interdependence – with entities which seem radically different – is unavoidable.
We commissioned writer Daniella Valz Gen to respond to ‘wūûūwūûū’ and we are delighted to publish Daniella’s response below.
Daniella Valz Gen is a poet, artist and oracle. Their work explores the interstices between languages, cultures and value systems with an emphasis on embodiment and ritual through divination.
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Hand Held Oracular Motion Picture Device
Upon the first 4 viewings I’m dizzy, it’s a vortex.
At random and from memory:
Greens and Purples and Piss from a three headed deity.
Sour faced angels float on clouds with bulging udders.
A cosmic donut toroidal field.
I pause for a few days, forget about it.
I resume my viewing but now I decide I will only watch on my phone, the small screen through which I access the most vital information.
This film is an oracle.
I ask: What do I need to know right now?
I watch and I retrieve the following:
I forgot my felt tip pens at SV and I need them before I travel. A pang of anxiety.
Plastic bags from Superdrug stare at me and say: What have you done human? I’ve got nowhere to go. Not degrading makes me insane. I will swallow you up through a donut and you will fall endlessly.
I note I don’t ever shop in Superdrug.
In the underworld there are clouds of dust and soot where all the fallen angels nest.
From those clouds falls a primordial soup of microscopic gibberish.
But you need plastic to keep your things dry in the rain. Bags. You need bags. They do have a purpose.
Is this the rubbish in my subconscious? What sort of embryo am I nesting there? Bacterial, viral, amoebal?
I wonder what it feels like to live inside my microbiome, in the belly of the beast.
I am the beast. I have three faces. Or five, two extra faces on my hands.
There’s a monster in my belly.
A poster child for leaky gut syndrome.
I watch the film in bed as I’m falling asleep and decide to note how I feel in the morning.
I wake up determined to eat a donut.
It is Sunday, I will go for a walk and commune with the oracular film by eating a donut.
I sit by the river with my donut, take it out of the paper bag, look at it, look through its hole. I look at the river through the donut’s hole.
I play the film on my phone and watch it through the donut’s hole.
After watching I eat my donut. I bite around it attempting to leave a whole hole for as long as possible.
Cinnamon Sugar sticks to my mouth and falls all over my hoodie and my hair.
Crumbs are a fractal of the total.
They are 100% donut in their composition.
I know this. I’ve tasted them.
We experience totality through its crumbs.
This oracular exercise did not have a question or a purpose other than to engage with the oracle through the imagery that the oracle generates.
I like it when we’re not hunting for answers and we’re just playing.
I make a strong cup of coffee and sit at the table to watch.
The following thoughts arise:
What are the jewels in the dark?
They look like amber but amber is not found underground.
They’re not jewels but a representation of light hitting a mineral surface.
It is all a representation of light.
Everything twirls in the film.
I want to stir my coffee and watch the milk make a vortex that stains the whole cup. But I don’t. I drink my coffee black. I stir it and all I get is spiralling small bubbles and the sheen on the caramel red dark of the liquid.
Circularity and revolutions.
I’m back in the donut and the notion of being sucked into.
This film is short but it spins off. I’m making IRL oracular experiences as spin offs.
I watch again, caffeinated, hot headed.
I want to squeeze something more.
This time I see balaclavas.
I am swallowed by one as if approaching a wormhole in slow motion.
I’m falling inside and being recomposed: a new life cycle begins.
I’m a tiny life form. My intelligence is biological.
I get spat out but I never land, I freeze half way through my ejection and there, suspended mid air, I drown, diluted in urine.
That is my life cycle.
I realise I have completely neglected mentioning the snake.
It’s easy to ignore the image of a snake being held up when you are swallowed into a vortex. Perspective has direction. If I’m spiralling downward I can’t see what’s above with clarity.
And yet, I have noted the snake, the triumphal gesture of lifting up a snake. I almost succeeded in ignoring it. But alas, not this time.
Images description: A video still from a 2D animation; delivered via pen and fibre-tipped markers on paper. Spinning in liquid green nothingness, four magenta heads wobble and collide in the centre of the frame. The heads are nipple-pointed with faces and wide pink mouths.
ONE WORK is a series of online events that focus closely on a single work. These generous discussions provide an opportunity for an artist to present a recent work and talk through how the work came into being. Each work is available as a month-long online screening, followed by a specially commissioned written response that serves as documentation of both the work and the discussion.