Is There Beauty in Super-Hybridity?
It goes back all the way to Frankenstein’s monster: that which is a composite with the seams showing – rather than elegantly hidden – is considered ugly. Mary Shelley’s point was that in the artificially produced mind of the composite monster there is, sadly-ironically, a heightened sensitivity for beauty, for example the simple grace of a bird song. (On top of that, of course, in Shelley’s classic there is an argument of the monster’s ethical, ‘inner’ beauty versus it’s ‘inner’ ugliness of feelings of rage and revenge.)
Considering the super-hybrid ugly also seems to touch on another old mythical nerve: think of Medusa’s head – too many serpents bustling about. A classical male fear complex vis-à-vis the female. I think there is a kind if queer sensibility involved precisely in embracing that Medusa complex as beautiful. Here are some choices to exemplify what I mean:
The cover of Yeasayer’s last album, Odd Blood.
“Ryan Trecartin’s YouTube channel”: http://www.youtube.com/user/ryantrecartin
and his video I-BE AREA (Pasta and Wendy M-PEGgy) (2008)
and to end on a musical note, Gonjasufi, discussed in the State of the Art of the current issue :
Are Medusa and Frankenstein the Barbie & Ken of the 21st century?