NurTorture Device #1
I have chosen to maintain my cultures and in doing so, I am subverting laboratory protocols by considering 'material' as 'alive': as bio-assemblages. It is this lively, unknowable quality that compels me to maintain the bio-assemblage. I enable the existence of generations of the organism and as their being exists on a scale so hard for me to comprehend, I cannot fully know the impact of my actions towards them, therefore I attempt to define it in terms I understand: I am both nurturing and torturing them. I attempt to look after them, but I also impose my will upon them. Thus I am creating a nurtorture device.
When I discuss the term 'nurtorture', it generates a level of discomfort. Anything that causes this reaction is important to explore, I think. It is a product of culture that compartmentalises and controls forms of being. I have begun to reflect upon how the word nurtorture relates to other structures and where its effects become social rather than individual: cages, pens, zoos, care homes, hospitals, prisons... All are areas designed for a form of care but that also impose power structures. Does emphasising nurture rather than torture lessen the discomfort? Perhaps TorNurture is more acceptable, where the emphasis is on nurture, but there is an understanding that the action is torn between privileging the individual and privileging society. The term also raises the question of the nonhuman and whether there can ever be a system of care that encompasses society, the individual and the matter that comprises the individual, human or otherwise.