TQW Magazin
Lewon Heublein on La Caresse du Coma by Anne Lise Le Gac

The crackers are for the DOGs!


The crackers are for the DOGs!

Slow and distorted, the text runs into the nothingness of the galaxy, just like in the “Star Wars” intro. Instead of a starry sky, there is a desktop background. “Living eternally is like unlimited phone calls” is written there.

In 2002, the year in which the Raelian sect made headlines when they publicly declared not only to be pursuing the cloning of humans but to have already succeeded in doing so, the Internet still felt like an endless galactic expanse.

Nearly twenty years later, Anne Lise Le Gac is looking for cracks in the form of memes, amateur videos and absurd 3D renderings in the post-factual World Wide Web. By disrupting the network, these “cracks” produce a different kind of unmediated reality that she reassembles, re-enacts and post-poetically short-circuits into a separate network in her pieces. Clip art, DIY aesthetics and a blend of theatrical fiction and lecture performance serve to create a string game that ties different phenomena and concepts together.

La Caresse du Coma is an open series. New characters, based on real people, appear in each episode. The setting is a four-star spa in Croatia boasting several areas such as Krishna Corner, Swastica Hill and Land of Kindness.

In the third episode, ft. ANGE 92Kcal, Anne Lise Le Gac channels the conversations that develop during the University of Happiness conference.

The characters do not require a physical manifestation. The conversations of the various entities take place on the floor-to-ceiling projection as PowerPoint presentations, alternating with images of a watery melon which consists only of a transparent liquid and a burning ice cube. The narrative structure corresponds to a web search. New tabs are constantly popping up – crammed with buzzwords and animated GIFs.

Having arrived in the lobby of the wellness oasis, Anne Lise Le Gac is presented with a pass. She is DOG (23) now. Disapproving of the idea at first – this isn’t her name, after all – her resistance quickly evaporates. Apart from her, there are other DOGs, i. e. newcomers, as well, such as DOG (06), who is both talkative and well-versed in materialism. Being a DOG is the first level in the sect which bears a remarkable resemblance with Raelism.

Raelians believe that humans are clones of extraterrestrials, and wait for them to return one day, if and when they feel welcome. Nothing is expected of the newcomers but innocent, unconditional love and devotion. “We are messengers of infinity. And infinity is love. […] We want to save everybody on earth. And we cannot do it by thinking. Only by stopping thinking [sic].” This concludes a promotional video for the RAELIAN HAPPINESS ACADEMY 2017. A caress of the coma.

The introductory seminar is held by ANGE 92Kcal, dressed in a white robe. Probably a kind of taster course for the new DOGs, the seminar is intended to lay the foundation of the New Age 2.0 religion.

Rule number 1: The ultimate form is discontinuation, death. Only transformation means life and vitality. To illustrate her point, ANGE 92Kcal pours a liquid into a vase. A few seconds later white foam bubbles out of the neck of the vase. Evolution as alchemy. So all things are in a holistic flow and change their shapes, like the gluten network of a huge homemade chewing gum which, having chewed it for a little while, she sticks on a stage element.

Rule number 2: Be creative. The world is an artificial conglomerate of artefacts. Creativity is the act of forward-thinking, a permanent improvisation using existing and previous materials.

ANGE 92Kcal then shows the participants incredibly cute dog videos, makes selfies out of clay and asks DOG (23) to render a song written by herself. The raw Dadaistic cloud rap consists of barely understandable French slang, advertising slogans, hip-hop quotes and some of Anne Lise Le Gac’s personal emotional experiences.

A rustling can be heard from the rows of seats. All DOGs present have been supplied with crackers and wasabi nuts. The coaching industry’s technical term for this is community building.

Having started off with snails and elephants, nobody remembers how the conversation turned to soft conspiracies, but everything strikes you as being surprisingly coherent. In the end, ANGE92Kcal seems like a cloned new-age cross between biologist and theorist Donna Haraway and social anthropologist Tim Ingold, whose interdisciplinary concepts of infinite transformation are the central point of this episode. In her “Companion Species Manifesto”, Haraway spoke up for a new communicative and more interlinked relationship of the human/dog intersubjectivities, proposing to implement this e.g. by means of positive behavioural control. These notions manifest themselves in the words of the all-embracing prep talk, which suddenly appears strangely forbidden because it seems so relevant.

Accompanied by romantic SoundCloud edits featuring improvised saxophone melodies, Anne Lise Le Gac, ecstatic and enlightened, is about to dance herself into the next ephemeral state of matter: mist. In the process of embracing the post-human, her concrete physical form dissolves. In the end, it’ll be cheese crackers instead of bread crumbs that will trail a path towards eternity.

One thing seems certain: DOG (23) is bound to phone home at some point.


Lewon Heublein (b. 1990) studied theatre, film and media studies with a focus on the interfaces between visual and performative art at the University of Vienna and cultural management at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna, and is currently researching the structures governing dance and performance venues. Publications in PW Magazine.


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