Review: Aseptic Stir – Year Of Detachment


It’s impossible to perceive the entirety of the human body at once, whether referring to one’s own body or the body of another. Observing the body from the front means that the back is hidden from view. To hold someone’s hand is not to feel the whole hand; instead, the sense of touch can only illuminate those points of contact on the insides of fingers and certain segments of the palm, presenting the hand as a shapeless constellation of pressure. To look down at one’s own body is to perceive oneself as headless, as the field of vision stops at the shoulders and the neck. Year Of Detachment seems adherent to this notion of the body as a transient sensory object, like a flock of spotlights illuminating particular contours and features while plunging others into shadow. Low drones transmit the circulation of blood, while vocal utterances emit flashes of teeth and bursts of warm exhalation. Electronic sonar rebounds off the curvature of the hips, while thick static clings to the tip of the nose and the corners of the eyes. The body appears as a dance of emergences, of impressions and reflections, and together these sensations approximate a form of softness and exposure; of respiratory labour; of moisture and bristling hair.

The mouth seeps into the margins. The popping of the tongue. Gasps and murmurs. Vague phrases that tracing the outline of bodily gestures and behaviours. These fragments of voice are wrapped within electronics – throbbing interference, distorted bells, jellied phasers – that smother the mouth like a damp cloth. Elsewhere, other parts of the human form are rendered apparent through their contact with artificial material: “Pressure Limit” depicts broken nails digging through dry gravel in extreme heat, while “Mental Fat” builds its rhythms upon the squelch of organs dropped upon concrete, sat against the croak of voices lifting out of general anaesthesia. Year Of Detachment seems to take places in such confined spaces that limbs and objects have no choice but to press together. Through this intimate contact their texture and dimensions become apparent one surface at a time, with body learning object learning body, tracing the mythic entirety of form through what starts to resemble a kind of fleeting sensory poetry.

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