becoming reptilian (2020) short film in pre-proproduction
Not to know who we are, but rather what at last we want to become, how to represent mutations, changes, and transformations, rather than Being.
—Rosi Braidotti, Metamorphoses
Tiamat is a glistening serpentine goddess of ancient Babylonia, she is the embodiment of the watery chaos of primordial creation. Often depicted as a dragon, Tiamat is a matriarch and a monster, a chthonic being, writhing in the saline liquids of the earth. In the thick present of the Anthropocene, we find ourselves ontologically entangled between wet and virtual, between consumer comforts and impending environmental catastrophe, between human and something else. Amidst this accelerated existential confusion, a space opens up for speculative ways of becoming and redefining what it means to be aware and alive in the world. While this emergence is extremely of the moment, we can find alternative models of being by looking to ancestral precedents, invoking feminine figures of hybridity and of a fundamentally terrestrial divine.
In this line of artistic research involving post-humanism, contemporary eco-feminism, and new materialism, I have recently encountered an entity named Tiamat Legion Medusa, a trans-gender, trans-species serpent-dragon residing in Los Angeles, California. Tiamat has undergone extreme body modification including full-body tattooing, horn implantation, eye-staining, and a splitting of her tongue in her journey towards a status of more-than-human and healing from the traumas inflicted upon her by humans of her past. While her persona has gained the attention of tabloids and sensationalizing publications such as Ripley’s Believe it or Not, I am alternatively co-creating with Tiamat a multi-species and material-semiotic storytelling of her ongoing process of becoming.