„There looms, within abjection, one of those violent, dark revolts of being, directed against a threat that seems to emanate from an exorbitant outside or inside, ejected beyond the scope of the possible, the tolerable, the thinkable.“ — Julia Kristeva, Powers of the Horrors: An essay on Abjection, 1980
Kristeva’s idea of the abject unfolds the psychic origins and mechanisms of revulsion and disgust. Abjection emerges in confrontations with death’s materiality, violence, and our bodies’ vulnerability in the face of lifeless corpse, decay, open wounds, excrements, bodily fluids like puss, and even skin on the surface of warm milk. It is the radically excluded, disturbs laws and order, and drives me towards the „border of my condition as a living being.“
Abjects poses the emergence of a new kind of abject lurking underneath contemporary experiences mediated by technology, marked by seeming disembodiment, pre-designed and standardized pathways, an erosion of material differences in optoelectronic channels, and accelerated inscription into duration without breaks.
The works gathered create and reflect abjections by occupying the disparity between a sense of limitless electronic connectedness and infinite reproducibility and the enduring constraints of embodiment and physical finitude—disturbing and rupturing a new organization of the material and immaterial, the visible and the opaque, and the sensible and the insensible produced by digital economy in the information age.