Transhumance

tve performance performer francesc oui aragon torralba
Interview with national broadcast TVE at Torralba, Aragon.

Aragon was the first Spanish community to acknowledge transhumance as Immaterial Patrimony. Transhumants are a specific kind of migrants who move from winter to summer pastures and back. This is a peculiar practice in more than way. It names both the cattle and the human animal who guides; unlike the words emigrant and immigrant, it collapses both movements under the same singularity of the move. It may thus refer to the kind of reversible circularity, equivocal one-sidedness of the Moebius band that describes the openness of the signifier according to Lacan.

What is more, the signifier transhumance allows for a play on trans as in transgender, human and the -mancy suffix related to prediction. I could almost feel the word invoking me to perform the continuity of the signifier in those significations with the help of my former training on philology and psychoanalysis. Besides, I had started to claim my voice as a transgender person in order to embody the postgender in the era of social digitalization.

We may understand so-called social networks as corporately owned databases that codify and control social behavior by way of data collection and surveillance, and capitalize on that shared information. As opposed to that, I conceived Transhumance as a one-time, live and non-recordeable performance in the second most desertified area of Europe, in Aragon, in the presence of very few locals, during a residency. There is only one video recording of a rehearsal for the chants that were sung during the performance, after the sunset in the early winter, about the same time the sheeps would fall asleep.

 

As a consequence of performing transhumance in Aragon, I relocated to Torralba de Ribota a few months later.

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