lab for

by Miche O’higgins

symbio:scenes ep.2

pleasure, worldbuilding, horror  

Symbio:scenes is an immersive science fiction series that follows the evolution of life through a swamp into distant technological and ecological epochs.

The second episode is an erotic horror that explores alternate reproductive possibilities in the symbiocene through an encounter with the Eremite, an amphibious hermaphroditic post-human.   

The performance invites the audience intimately into the hot and slimy mating ritual that takes place between the Swamp and the Eremite, inspired by the curious reproductive behaviours of puffer fish, mole salamanders and insect larval cycles.

“Stirring lethargically beneath the dampness, the tree welcomes the Eremites touch as it begins to knead its slick skin against the bark, mucus squelching as the two bodies pass over the other.”

More widely this project is also born from an interest in developing science fiction and speculative future narratives that don’t compulsively centre the human experience in their world building. For example, how can pleasure be extended to and written from the point of view of not only the Eremite, but also the Swamp?

At the end of this multispecies orgie, a new hybrid organism rips its way out of the Eremites body and the terraforming of this post-apocalyptic chemical bog has begun.

To be continued…

Episode 3 coming in the autumn of 2022.

Performed in April 2022 at Cafe Babette, Berlin with Alex Scobie 

Photos by Sam Aguirre