fig. 61: Mother and Daughter, 1997
© Corinne Whitaker

unfolding: a memoir

ii
Locality

I believe firmly that that future will encompass a radically different digital language, a nonreductionist one that does not require that all information be represented as either a zero or a one. Perhaps a bioDNAmic language that evolves from the biology of cells. In this way, we might overcome a major incapacity in today's computers, the main factor limiting the development of artificial intelligence. For we can teach computers to count, we can teach them to kill, but we cannot yet teach them to love.

fig. 62: Out For The Count, 1994
© Corinne Whitaker

This is what sets us apart from the silicon species, what cannot as yet be manufactured, hardwired or softwired - the capacity to feel, to care, and to love. When we break the genetic code for emotions, an entirely new language, and perhaps a new species as well, will be born. It is possible that humanity as we now know it, and experience it, will go the way of dinosaurs - not through nuclear disaster, not through collision with a comet, but through the work of our own hands.

fig. 63: Family In Stone, 1997
© Corinne Whitaker

We may well be in the process of creating ourselves out of existence. The DNA of love, the last stronghold of a species: do we really understand that there may be no back door out of this genetic Alamo?

fig. 64: Virginia Slim, 1997
© Corinne Whitaker

We are not the most feeble things in nature, of course: hummingbirds, maybe, or rosebuds, or the last leaf on a dying tree, or a wisp of cloud. Are we the only thinking creatures? Do today's computers think, or merely respond to instructions? For that matter, do we merely respond to genetic instructions ourselves? If so, maybe we need to relocate out of the social fabric that envelops us and into another mind locale. Maybe we need to transgress old borders and fabricate an entirely new way-of-being in the world, while we want to, while we can.

"Encompass worlds, but never try to encompass me."

fig. 65: Woman On The Fence, 1996
© Corinne Whitaker


fig. 66: Eve, 1997
© Corinne Whitaker

What will this new world be like? What will its inhabitants look like, act like, feel like? Will this trangression of borders require a new species? Will it recognize its antecedents, ourselves, and will it view us with pride, or with contempt? Who is in charge, as we race headlong into a radically new world, and how much influence does any one of us have on the course we are committed to? How will women, pioneering women, artistic women of the spiritual/communal/locational West make their identities known, their myths powerful enough to move mountains, their feelings mainstreamed and unradicalized? How can we replace killing with curiosity, courage, love of exploration and unfear of the unknown?


Next
iii
Locality

All text and images © Corinne Whitaker.