UIQ: A Space Oddity at Human Resources
A lecture / performance by SILVIA MAGLIONI & GRAEME THOMSON originally produced by Bétonsalon, Paris as part of the Otolith Group exhibition A Lure a Part Allure Apart
Following the publication in 1980 of Mille Plateaux, a work that for many marked the culmination of Félix Guattari’s intellectual adventure with Gilles Deleuze, Guattari began work on a film script for a science fiction movie, UN AMOUR d’UIQ. Initially developed in collaboration with filmmaker Robert Kramer, the script of UIQ(Universe Infra-Quark) was to occupy Guattari on and off for the next seven years. Influenced both by his work at the La Borde clinic and his engagement with radical politics, UIQ offers a blueprint for a subversive ’popular’ cinema. In desiring to make the film in the commercial arena as a sci-fi blockbuster, Guattari was effectively raising the stakes of his own political engagement, attempting to break into the dream factory to reconfigure patterns of collective unconscious desire.
For UIQ: A Space Oddity, artists and filmmakers Silvia Maglioni & Graeme Thomson consider how the development of the UIQ script appears amid a general resurgence of interest in science fiction in the late 1970s and early 1980s. It is around this time that sci-fi becomes a screen of projection and mourning for the scattered phantoms of disappointed revolutionary desire, in which the radical alterity of a political ’outside’ is increasingly projected no longer through the imaginary of collective struggle but in terms of encounters with alien intelligences or life forces. UIQ imagines a hyper intelligent infra-cellular life substance as capable of transmitting its nascent will through global communications networks, plugging into the precarious ‘desiring machines’ of a community of social and psychological outsiders. By placing echoes of the unfilmed script in relation to a montage of scenes from sci-fi films of the period – from Tarkovsky’s Solaris and Stalker, to Spielberg’s Close Encounters and ETthrough Demon Seed, The State of Things, Blade Runner, Videodrome, Starman and others – Maglioni & Thomson aim to isolate the singularity of UIQ in the virtual dimension of what it might have been and what it may yet become.
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