donderdag 10 september 2020

Parasites Radiolab Podcast


Two bloodflukes spooning in your body for up to 40 years,
the relation between redneck- stereotypes and hookworms,
barefood dancing in African excrements as a cure for asthma
and how catlovers are dangerous drivers under parasite control.

with Carl Zimmer, Dickson Despommier and Rober Sapolski

zaterdag 2 mei 2020

the Feminist Parasite Institution

No More Fun and Games
Curated: Jesse Jones (2016)

"Setting as the target an ossified history of phallocentric art, Jesse Jones contemplates themes of empowerment and social renewal by interrogating how art has been misrepresented in museums through the in-cessant selection of male artists. She has established the Feminist Parasite Institution– an informal curatorial collective created through social connections and political affinities – for her exhibition of new work entitled No More Fun and Games. this parasite institution aims to use the gallery’s collection as material for raising feminist consciousness, putting into circulation a set of objects, actions and rumours, conceptually situated somewhere between separatist femi-nist theory and lucky strikes into the heart of the collection."(..)

 Act I: Curating the Canon
“Invading the gallery space, the Feminist Parasite Institution redeploys the suffragette tactic of comedy to reflect on the museum as a historical actor and an abstract site of performance and resonance. This improvisation in institutional critique feeds off the resources available, taking up physical space but existing in the live drama of coexistence. The ‘parasite’ intends to disrupt the canon of art history and interrupt gender-bias as the discriminating filter to the provenance of art history through a series of events, performances and tours. Collective writings will address and argue the question of gender equality in the construction and commemoration of history.”

donderdag 30 april 2020

PARA-SITE (New York 1989)

PARA-SITE Diller Scofidio + Renfro 

"The installation is modeled on Michel Serres’ three definitions of parasite: just as the biological parasite is physically opportunistic and feeds off its host organism, the installation steals its structural and electrical sustenance from its host site; just as the social parasite entertains its host to earn welcome at the dinner table, the installation offers the entertainment value of voyeurism to a public unwittingly drawn into an interrogation of vision; just as the technological parasite creates interference in an information network, the installation interrupts the systems of the museum to interrogate it. The installation electronically links the Projects Room with three remote sites of circulation in the museum, linking self–conscious and unsuspecting viewers in a reflection about looking—the primary activity in the museum."

The Socio-Parasitology Manifesto

"The Socio-Parasitology Manifesto, works towards social change. 
The manifesto works against the pejorative perspective, and biological predator-prey and parasite-host domination. 
There is a focus on the fluctuating of hierarchical levels – so to minimise the differences between parasite and host groups. 
Nothing is completed in isolation, all forms of contact are social. 
Materializing the positive aspects of a parasite, favours for catalysing social change. 
The focus is on the interruptive stage and the first act of contact made between a parasite and host coupling; as an activity which releases a productive change." (..)

"There is a sense of urgency and a need for the body, to be in contact with the environment.
There is a need for this parasite to form a connection with the external place, that the body is situated in. 
Physical contact forms multitudes of interruptions onto the host body and machine. 
There is nothing outside of the open system, all relations are parasitic, scenarios and hierarchical differences must be brought to the surface as inevitable and occuring without a meta position. CONTACT!"

Host-Guest; Madeleine Barrat (2019)
                         The purgative and cyclical nature of the way that the leeches and I interact calls into question the guest/host relationship.
Can a host body become something more than a vessel for a parasite to feed off and then discard?"

donderdag 23 april 2020

zine parasita

"Zine Parasita is not sold, but can be found hidden in other publications in bookstores, libraries and other randomly chosen places. It features contributions by designers, pho-tographers, artists, writers and illustrators from around the world.
Parasita has already been hidden in several cities in Brazil and other countries. The zine had special issues published on the occasion of fairs or exhibitions."

zondag 19 april 2020

Parasite New York 1997-1998

Parasite was formed as a support and discussion group for artists interested in a context specific art practice. It met regularly - initially in members apartments - to share projects and ideas. It went
on to piggyback (parasite) two local institutions - the PS1 Clock Tower and The Drawing Centre's Project Room, downtown NY, where it took on a more public character utilising the host institutions' infrastructure in exchange for content provision: organising public presentations and discussions as well as organising Andrea Fraser's Services exhibition (pdf) and re-staging Mel Bochner's "Working Drawings and Other Visible Things on Paper Not Necessarily Meant to be Viewed As Art" from 1966.

"Taking over spaces to present what we're interested in is especially important in terms of the roles assigned to artists, curators and critics -- roles that tend to become hierarchized. It's a way of taking back some power. But it's also about considering how ideas can circulate and what that circulation means. Can they circulate without being mastered by someone who's claiming the right to own them? What we're trying to do is create a more open, discursive situation." 


vrijdag 3 april 2020

Parasitic University of London

The Parasitic University focusses on issues related to the access of academic resources in marginalised communities and the redistribution of cultural capital.

"Parasites are organism which attach themselves to host bodies and syphon nutrients from them. Parasites often contribute to the spread of viruses and immune deficiencies within their hosts, but there are many parasites which maintain reciprocal altruism with their hosts. Such as cleaner fish which live off the dead skin of sharks or primates which take turns grooming one another.
Serving the dual purpose of both removing potentially harmful insects and providing sustenance in the consumption of said insects.The Parasitic University act similarly within academic systems, through stealing educational resources and redistributing them with the embodied spirit of reciprocally altruistic parasites.
Through the theft of educational resources and the injection of divergent and alternative forms of knowledge and information will act as antibody, which can heal the system while providing essential nutrients to the parasitic learners(ie user/students)."

"Most major universities in London hold nightly open lectures on a wide range of subjects and disciplines. While this is a great resource, it is highly under promoted. Making these lecture “open” or “free” only to those already attending the universities where they are held.
The parasitic university attempts to broaden the access to these resources and creates curricula using the open lectures as classes within user developed
“academic programs”"

Abdullah Elias

donderdag 2 april 2020

Parasite School

Parasite School was initiated in 2010 by multidisciplinary artist Felipe Castelblanco, and takes place at the intersection between education and participatory art

Parasite School “infiltrates the university in a parasitical way and uses its resources, people and infrastructure to embrace & serve immigrants and artists-nomads excluded by official universities in the USA and Europe. This project explores education as artistic material and the university as a contested political arena.”

“By operating from inside the university in a parasitical way, the ParaSite School appropriates the university’s resources (faculty, classrooms, labs, equipment, researchers, etc) in order to create alternative opportunities for minorities, undocumented migrants and artists facing immigration issues to attend college and access higher education.

Meanwhile, The School itself serves as a platform for artists/educators to investigate forms of experimental pedagogy, participation and social interventions in the public sphere as a form of artistic practice and social action.”

"For an entire week, the group offered to paint people’s houses within the city of Portland, Oregon using local media and street advertisement. However, instead of painting the walls of the houses, artist and laborers created fine art paintings — on canvas — of the façades of the buildings, while engaging customers/audiences in a situation that re-imagined the act of exchange, service and labor. A temporary art studio (with easels, canvases and palettes) emerged on the streets as the group created the paintings.
WPH employed undocumented Latino Laborers and provided faire wages in the form of artists stipends, using funds from academic research grants and artistic fellowships granted by U.S. universities."
The intervention seeks to enable contentious encounters between locals and immigrants, workers and artists, while stimulating public debate about immigrant labor, class and misrepresentation.

IAM Weekend 18 The Subversion of Paradoxes Parasite School:

donderdag 27 februari 2020

Parasite Games

 Hyper Parasite


"It’s the 80’s all over again. Only this time, the human race has more than an obnoxious pop culture to contend with.
With World War III nearing its demise, Earth only just begins to catch its breath when it is threatened by yet another menace. Unlike the preposterous mullets of its inhabitants however, this one’s invisible – a parasitic organism capable of making hosts of unsuspecting human beings, consuming what’s left of their souls and wreaking unfathomable havoc.
And it’s spreading. With a vengeance.
Martial laws have been declared to make way for a global hunt, battle-hardened law enforcers have made allies of the most degenerate of criminals, while the rest of the world is paralysed with paranoia; yet who can be trusted? Who can see it, let alone destroy it? That’s for them to worry about. For you are the enemy.
You are the organism with a mission. You are… HyperParasite."

Plague inc:

"Can you infect the world? Plague Inc. is a unique mix of high strategy and terrifyingly realistic simulation with over 700 million games played!
Your pathogen has just infected 'Patient Zero'. Now you must bring about the end of human history by evolving a deadly, global Plague whilst adapting against everything humanity can do to defend itself."

"Strategy 1
1). Use any Genes that can help the parasite increase infection or add genes that help the Parasite in ways like increased transmission on planes.
2). Avoid Starting in a Rich Nation instead try to infect the poor countries with a high population density like India, Libya and Mexico
3). By evolving all three steps of its special ability before anything else, Severity plummets. Parasite is very stealthy and it's not difficult to infect the entire world without the cure even starting.
4). If a stealth approach was taken without alerting any of the countries then proceed to infect the world with lower tier symptoms such as Coughing, Sneezing, Nausea avoid using the sweat symptom if a headline pops up for it which can make curing and noticing the disease easier with said symptom.
5). If you have successfully infected the entire world without being detected then evolve Total Organ Failure but make sure all nations are infected before purchasing this symptom."

 tip: "If the Festival of Love event fires, pick up Nausea"


"Parasite is a metroidvania-style puzzle-platformer that places you in the role of an alien worm, desperate to rid your home planet of a recent human infestation.
As a simple worm creature, you only have a single weapon at your disposal: the ability to infect a host and control their actions. As you crawl through the labyrinthine corridors of the humans’ space station, you will find four earthlings you can place under your wormy control, each with their own unique powers. Using these power-ups, you’ll have to traverse four unique biomes to eventually sabotage the station’s eight modules, thus ensuring the demise of the human invaders".

Parasites Unleashed!

"Parasites Unleashed! is a simple and fast-paced non-collectible card game for 2-4 players ages 8 and up.
In Parasites Unleashed! you control a parasite, trying to complete your life cycle, mate, and lay eggs before your opponents. Do all the things real parasites do -- bore into vital organs, hide inside a blood cell, hitch a ride inside a mosquito, even take over your host's brain. However, opponents can add stages to your life cycle, and zap you with medicine."


 Be a Parasite!

"In this game the player controls a parasite. At first the parasite is located in the brain of a worm. This gives the player control over the worms actions. But a predator lurks just a few steps behind the worm. Once it catches on, the parasite reaches it's ghastly tentacles and turns the predator into a mere puppet. The parasite will not rest before it controls the biggest and baddest creature on earth.
Try to eat as many creatures as possible before being eaten. Repeat."


"My God, they're everywhere!
Or are they? An alien parasite has infected crew members of the ISS Fluffy Pink Cloud. Seeking comfort in each other's company, the crew members try to fight off the treacherous invader. Will Bartholomew Broadside and his trusty crewmen be in time to halt this spreading disease?

The players are crew members of the ISS Fluffy Pink Cloud. An alien infection is spreading through the ship and some players may already be infected when the game starts. It is not clear, however, who is infected and who isn't. Each turn, each player visits another player in his/her quarters, to protect the fellow crew member from infection (or, alternatively, to infect him).
On board are engineers (who can perform a body scan), a doctor (who can surgically remove an alien and perform a blood transfusion) and the doctor's assistant. Each turn, the players vote on who is going to perform which action and on whom, to clear the infection. However, among the voting crew memebers are those that are already infected and who want to infect the entire crew. Other players each have a special ability they can use to spread or to stop the infection. The end of the game (which has as much turns as players) is either a victory for the aliens or the humans."

Warhammer; Parasitic Infection




maandag 16 december 2019

Parasites and Self-Organization

The change agents were very fashionable and hip --- they professed to postmodernism and/or to Deleuzian generativity. But they did not shift CO(M)POSITIONING out of its mode of communication. Their own universe of consciousness never connected generatively with CO(M)POSITIONING's. The change agents were hermetically enclosed in their own assumptions.
Organization has become a social order unto itself, capable of defending its functionality, no matter what people feel and think. Thus for consultants or change agents, organizational change is no mean task. In Opusclum, the consultants entrusted their project to a strategy of noise, irritation and differentiation. If the various work groups all developed communication of their own, there would supposedly have been enough differentiation to destabilize current redundancy. But organization always includes functional differentiation --- the project groups were interpreted as if they were just another dimension of an already existing functional differentiation. Hereby, they produced no noise, but just more complication
The problem is that organization tends to develop towards increased redundancy --- that is, to more tight, institutionalized, rationalized, and formal order. Organization tends to reject noise and to embrace control, efficiency and order. But if one wants the structural complexity of the system to increase, one needs irritants, difference and change.
If organization is characterized by self-enclosing boundaries, operationalized in communication, how can we critically know, observe or change organization?
To be a change agent or researcher, one has to be able to be an active outsider, or (in effect) an outside insider. Luhmann observes that this is a paradoxical position.
Luhmann introduces the parasite or irritation as the principle of difference. Without parasites or irritants, there is only repetition --- that is, more of the same, produced via the recursivity of closed systems. Parasites produce difference --- they are a principle of change, innovation and creativity.
(But) Parasitism is both radically dependent, and has far-reaching possibilities.(..) Parasites cannot become insiders or outsiders, without loosing their identities. Parasites remain a source of noise for the communication process(es) with which any system self-creates. By keeping the self-organizing generative process (a bit) out of balance, parasites insure that communication continues and does not settle into entropy. But can the parasites fulfill this function, while observing themselves and the system all at the same time? In Serres' terms --- can one be a successful guest in regards to one's host, and fruitfully observe the process all at once?
Where Serres sees relationships (..)Luhmann sees disparateness. For Serres, organizations can be studied, albeit from a parasitical position. Researchers introduce noise into the system by assuming the outsider's position. Researchers have to ingratiate themselves on the system in order to do their work. Though the system probably will not and cannot acknowledge it, good researchers provide just enough noise, that the systems studied become more alive thanks to the relationship. For Luhmann, parasitism creates difference and difference destabilizes communication, but to little or no positive avail. Parasites add options and exploit the decision space, multiplying metalevel or process alternatives.
In Luhmann, individual consciousness is outside the organizing process; in Serres consciousness is outside organizing but inside the noise that influences (perhaps indirectly) organizing.
In Serres, the link is not assured, but it is at issue.

Parasites and Self-Organization
Or is Self-Organization Researchable?

Hugo Letiche
University of Humanistics, Utrecht

parasites as ecosystem engineers

Diverse effects of parasites in ecosystems 

Community ecologists generally recognize the importance of species – such as pollinators – that have clear positive effects within ecosystems. However, parasites – usually regarded in terms of their detrimental effects on the individuals they infect – can also have positive impacts on other species in the community. We now recognize that parasites influence species coexistence and extirpation by altering competition, predation, and herbivory, and that these effects can, in turn, influence ecosystem properties. Parasites and pathogens act as ecosystem engineers, alter energy budgets and nutrient cycling, and influence biodiversity.

Effects of parasites on network structure. (a) Connectivity measures the proportion of possible trophic links that are realized in the food web. Adding parasites to the web can boost connectivity substantially if all the realized links (parasite–parasite, parasite–predator, and host–parasite links) are included. In this example, including parasites (in red) more than doubles the number of links in a simple network, even though parasite species number only half those of free-living species (basal resource species: green; herbivores: blue; predators: black). Provided these interactions are generally weak, increased connectivity increases community resilience by increasing dynamic stability. (b) Nestedness describes how consumer–resource links are organized in a network. Well-nested
communities have a core of strongly interacting species (shaded) around which other, less connected species associate, so generalist consumers use strongly and weakly connected resources, and specialists tend to consume the dominant, well-connected resource species. Well-nested webs tend to be less vulnerable to secondary extinction, and food webs involving parasites tend to be strongly nested.

Melanie J Hatcher , Jaimie TA Dick , Alison M Dunn (2012)

maandag 9 december 2019

Media Parasites in the Early Avant-Garde

Dadaist and Futurist parasites did not provoke the bourgeois society of their time from the outside, but contributed to the modern media ecology that they inhabited and used as their host. The avant-garde artists were not simply freaks at the periphery, but constituted an integral part of the media economy of the early twentieth century. (..)

Der Dada 3 1920 John Heartfield mont..
The avant-garde (..)produced feedback loops that fed the products of modern media systems back into the emerging media channels in order to parody, irritate, and accelerate established media practices.This aesthetic of feedback is fundamental for the avant-garde’s parasitic nature, because feedback is parasitical. It is not an original production,but feeds something already existing back into the point of origin, thereby amplifying or modifying this event without adding anything new to it. As Serres also underlines, feedback is a parasitic or mediating circular function.
The parasitic irritations of the avant-garde did not establish a new revolutionized and utopian world (..)The true value of the avant-garde movements does not lie in their radical transformative agenda, but in the fact that they were relatively unimportant agents within a greater cultural industry and nonetheless constantly injected small irritations into the public discourse

 Arndt Niebisch (2012)
Media Parasites in the Early Avant-Garde: On the Abuse of Technology and Communication

dinsdag 3 december 2019

Parasite Lottery (Wok the Rock 2016)

Parasite Lottery
A collective experiment proposed by Wok The Rock and Casco

Parasite Lottery is initiated by Yogyakarta-based artist and cultural activist Wok The Rock, and was developed in collaboration with Casco. It is a pilot version of a collective lottery system for art organizations in the Netherlands and their communities. Parasite Lottery adapts and fuses a lottery—a model for art funding that has remained stable, despite dwindling cultural funds in the Netherlands—and a commons-oriented micro-crediting system popular in Indonesia, arisan. It invites arts organizations to be bidders through a lottery drawing system. The winners will receive a sum of money to be used as a “fee for deviation,” whereby the funds can be spent on something that the organization would not ordinarily be able to achieve. For example, “the art of not working,” or funding a project that would be impossible without extra financial resources. Beyond the prize itself, Parasite Lottery is a collective exploration of chance effects, not just in the thrill of winning, but also through a series of gatherings that will take place around it, including talks, food, and music.

maandag 25 november 2019

Social Parasites; the Soviet Anti-Parasite Law

"Social Parasites: How tramps idle youth, and busy entrepeneurs impeded the Soviet march to communism"
 Sheila Fitzpatrick (2006)

About the Soviet ‘anti-parasite’ law of 1957.
The law cited two major forms of parasitism:” people who have jobs only “for the sake of appearances” since they actually live off non-labor income; and people “who carry out no useful work either in the society or in the family but engage in vagrancy and begging and often commit crimes” .

The concept at the heart of the anti-parasite law was : “He who does not work, does not eat.” But “work” had a specific meaning in Soviet discourse of the Khrushchev period : it meant employment in a Soviet institution, either as a wage- and salary-earner in a state institution or as collective farmer or cooperative artisan. (..) Those citizens who did not hold jobs and have a workplace -- even for fully-legitimate reasons, like pensioners, or quasi-legitimate ones, like housewives -- were in practice treated as second-class citizens. Working for oneself outside the state and cooperative structure did not count as work, for it implied a lack of commitment to the common project of building socialism/communism(..)

Artisans and craftsmen (outside cooperatives) were always an object of suspicion : these were difficult categories for Soviet authorities, who tended to regard non-factory production as both outmoded and potentially capitalist.(..)

Men living off wives, mistresses, and parents while making drinking a full-time occupation make frequent appearances in the anti-parasite reports from the localities,(..)

It was very striking, too, just how many kinds of parasites there were when one looked closely, (..): it was as if a “second society” of parasites coexisted with the “first” society of toilers (or, even worse, that every toiler was a potential parasite). The discussions surrounding the anti-parasite law gave a vivid and informative picture of the great variety of stratagems and social niches developed by individual citizens, reminding one of Fred Starr’s observation that the great thing one learned as a foreign student in Russia in the 1960s was that everything that mattered went on not in the formal structures of the society but in the interstices between.

(the soviet anti-parasite law has recent;y been reactivated in Belarus

The Coevolutionary Romance of Social Learning and Parasitic Behavior

"The coevolution of parasitic behavior and social learning is analogous to a romance, in which behavior wants the learner to fall in love, but the easiest path to the learner’s heart may transform the behavior and have unanticipated consequences for both parties. Either or both behavior and psychology may wind up frustrated or rather elated."

"In this model, parasitic behavior can become prevalent and substantially reduce host fitness. However, it may also evolve to be mutualistic and raise the mean fitness of the host organism. When this occurs, natural selection may favor psychological susceptibility to parasitic behavior. Both social learning and socially learned behavior can enjoy a happy ending. "

"Social learning entails a dilemma: Learning from others requires some credulity, and so our psychology may be defended, but a clever idea can nevertheless penetrate it. "

"Just like breathing entails exposure to pathogens, social learning entails exposure to manipulation, either by other individuals or by behavior itself. "

"This argument does not suggest that brains are helpless victims of parasitic behavior. Any psychology capable of sophisticated social learning must have coevolved in the shadow of such parasitic behavior. And so the design of social learning, whether innate or rather developmentally acquired, reflects a tradeoff between the acquisition of adaptive behavior and defense against manipulation. "

“when “manipulative” behavior successfully guides a learner to adaptive behavior, the situation seems less manipulative and more mutualistic. Thus under the right circumstances, it may be evolutionarily advantageous for a social learner to be susceptible to parasitic behavior.”

The Coevolutionary Romance of Social Learning and Parasitic Behavior McElreath

(about rogers paradox "Rogers (1988) considered a population of individual learners tracking a temporally varying environment. Because social learners acquire information cheaper than individual learners, they are selected for when introduced. However, this eventually results in there being too few individual learners tracking the environment for up-to-date information to spread. Consequently, social learners’ fitness declines until an evolutionary stable state (ESS) is reached, with the population becoming a mix of both types of learners." )