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Touring activities

«Camille & Ulysse»

Diana Toucedo

The philosophers Vinciane Despret and Donna Haraway combine their voices in "Camille & Ulysse", an audio-visual piece by the filmmaker Diana Toucedo, based on two of their fabulations: Haraway’s The Camille Stories, and Autobiographie d’un poulpe, by Despret.

In an indefinite future, Camille and Ulysses tell the interwoven stories of the first generation of their communities of humans and non-humans: the communities of compost. Camille is associated symbolically with monarch butterflies, whose migration routes and habitats in the US, Mexico and Canada are under threat. Ulysses, like all Ulysses in the community, experiments with the possibility of living in the presence of the extinct octopus by learning the animals’ highly unique gestures, language and forms of sensitivity.

Filmed like an oral tale and a correspondence between the two narrators and their stories, the film follows the ways of living and dying among communities on a damaged planet and their growing proficiency in a new field of scientific knowledge: terolinguistics, or the study of animal languages. The narrators, in harmony with their partners in symbiosis, become increasingly aware of the growth possibilities of the tentacular and metamorphic beings.

This encounter was captured by the filmmaker Diana Toucedo with a perspective attuned to the mysteries of the natural world, the blurred limits between what we know and what we intuit, Toucedo joins Haraway and Despret in the construction of this narrative voyage made up of multiple intersecting lines – a string game where speculative fiction and experimental essay merge as symbionts.

The piece, 46 minutes long and co-produced by the CCCB and the Pompidou Centre, with collaboration from Fabbula, was commissioned especially for the exhibition “Science Friction”.

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