13th Gwangju Biennale — Minds Rising Spirits Tuning

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EightOS (Dmitry Paranyushkin and Koo Des)

How to move, how to be moved, and how to move other people in the constant movement of life? How to work with the mutations of individual and collective desire, especially in our current shaky world order of automation, pandemic, and upheaval? How to develop strategies of resistance and reclaim our agency amid our implicit entanglement with algorithmic control mechanisms that rewire the preexisting knowledge of our bodies? ∞OS, the duo of Dmitry Paranyushkin and Koo Des, calls itself an “open source bodymind operating system” and develops an embodied ethics of being in the world through dance that extends not only to research on movement but to research on life and the world itself. At the core is a very simple idea that everything is based on a wave. ∞OS interrogates what this means on the level of the body and mind, and then explores how this learning may be brought into relation with the outside world. Working with metaphors and analogies that can be applied to any context—from physical interactions and intersubjective relations in everyday life to organizational management, scientific, or artistic research—they take methodologies and concepts from one realm and apply them in another. Cultivating research through daily practice, ∞OS produces, in their words, “a dance of confluence, creative evolutionary flow, and conflict escalation/de-escalation.” Through an integration of play and strategies of assimilation, infiltration, and redirection—coupled with physical practices such as the Russian martial art of Systema, body sculpting techniques, and butoh—they explore how these principles find their expression in social and political movements, including riots and counter-tactics used to suppress uprisings.

Commissioned to provide a logic and a score for the procession of the Biennale, ∞OS worked on site in Gwangju to develop modalities for audience mobilization and engage visitors in reverse-engineering their notions of the body and space. They directed the procession body, sculpting individual motivations into a collective one, and choreograph a live immersive parkour with a scored soundscape—another layer of ∞OS’s practice—along select artworks of the exhibition. The result is a deepening of their current research into self-organized systems, like bird flocks, and human rituals, such as techno parties, dance, and team sports, in the pursuit of co-immunity and adaptive resilience.

Defne Ayas