This project might relate to my past work Almanak (2018), point 0.9 of Manifesto of Tactile and Fanciful Tactics on How to Build a Speculative Future Through 1.0, List of an Alternative and Plausible Cosmic Solution:
0.9 On behalf of the whole universe of absurdity, narration and potentiality of speculative thinking through imagination, I declare war on rational thinking!
SP: The artistic realization of the story will be the presentation of an exegesis of texts – in the form of theory-fiction, recipes, and codes – and web-based images. Could you explain how the work is composed and put together?
NT: The work is basically composed of the writing and images derived from my research on cockroach activities; whether it was literature that I found on the internet and books or my communication with the colony of cockroaches in my studio and home. The artistic realization is then a gesture of how these mixtures of knowledge are compiled and narrated. Fiction for me is a platform on which to narrate the story and the findings, as well as a method to project my speculation. Through a fictional approach, I can produce a recipe and codes (in a form of language) as a practice of world-building. The theory I implemented on this artistic practice is used to enriched my speculation and aesthetic preference. However, I realize that the writing and images are fragmented and all over. For me, it is a fascinating experience to see the work in a fragmented manner, therefore it feels like a puzzle. To get the whole idea you don’t have to see the whole story, a small fragment is already enough to experience my speculation on cockroaches and humans. However, it is more fun to experience the artistic journey by reading and seeing the whole story.
»Fiction for me is a platform on which to narrate the story and the findings, as well as a method to project my speculation. Through a fictional approach, I can produce a recipe and codes (in a form of language) as a practice of world-building.«
SP: What are the open-source codes and recipes about? How should I use them?
NT: At first I thought to translate cockroach languages through code-based technology; however, I find this idea too ambitious. In the end, it is more interesting to actually share a recipe for making cockroach essential oil. The recipe posted on the website is semi-calculated on the research I conducted on the chemical content in the cockroach’s body. The research is developed by mutual conversations with bioentomologists and Javanese local healers. From a scientific/entomologist perspective, it is possible to make cockroach oil in proper lab facilities. On the other hand, the local healer, who was really into homeopathic medicine, suggested collecting at least 100 cockroach corpses and storing them in a container of carrier oil for months to get the cockroach essence. Different discipline, different approach. In the end both perspectives give a suggestion that is very speculative. The recipe is of course speculation, but now you can always try to make your own cockroach essential oil (without hurting cockroaches).
When the website is done, I want all of this information to be open source, so people can learn more about this through my work.