Filth as Non-Technology by Germán Sierra

“I am filthy [Je suis sale]—writes Lautréamont—I am riddled with lice. Hogs, when they look at me, vomit. My skin is encrusted with the scabs and scales of leprosy, and covered with yellowish pus.[i] Unlike dirt, easily washed from the surface of our skin, filth, like an accursed ointment or a recombinant agent of transgenesis, is susceptible of being absorbed and assimilated when entering in contact with the body. We fear that the filthy body will not be afterwards cleaned or purified because filth might freely trespass every protective screen, all security interfaces and external membranes (like viral infections in which viruses’ multiple strategies to trespass biological walls and membranes are a major concern)—and thus it must be either frantically avoided, prevented, kept away . . . or otherwise unconditionally embraced as an initial, dark-night-of-the-body stage that primes the flesh for further transformation.
Filth, then, is believed to be insidious, to infiltrate the flesh to become flesh, to renew the self in a revolutionary nigredo rot. Moreover, the repugnant adherence of filth reminds us of the body’s own adhesiveness—its sticky, protoplasmic, fleshy, expellable and pleasurable condition—, evidencing that bodies are not just convoluted skin—an exteriority folded upon itself, as noted by Jean-Luc Nancy[ii]—, but a more problematic, deep wet interiority fighting against its own limits to pour itself out.”
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