Anastasia Khodyreva (A) (they/them) is a researcher and writer based in Turku, Finland where they strive to know by breathing, walking, sensing, and attuning. Infused by new materialist thinkings and speculations, they work with methods of communal reading, haptic encounters, sound walks and multisensorial writing. In their doctoral research, they strive to think-feel and write-sense towards more liveable interstices for marginalised bodies and develop a decolonial take on curiosity. Currently, they co-facilitate Aquatic Encounters: Arts and Hydrofeminisms, a research project and reading space that dream of aqueous companionships and just multispecies futures. Their individual research allies with bodies of ice to query the dominant Western gender binary.
“A crystal is endowed with an infinite power of growth; its growth may be stopped, but never finished.” – Gilbert Simondon
Working as a collaborative duo, Rowan and Anastasia A Khodyreva (A) attend to a world inflamed, acidifying, warming and melting. Considering crystalline becoming as a more fitting model for worldmaking than the binary pair of matter and form, the project seeks to address not the formation of things, but their dissolution.
We understand crystallisation and dissolution, not as metaphors but as concrete “political matterings” (Neimanis 2013), real processes which are already underway in the atmospheres around us and within our bodies. The calcium carbonate shells of creatures off the coast of Finland and Scotland decompose in acidifying water, just as glaciers evanesce out of the valleys they carved.
As artists, academics and humans, we recognize that we are not separate but utterly implicated in the things we study. Our bodies are permeated by and ethically entangled with the occurrence of acidity, toxins and radioactivity. We too, must “dwell in the dissolve” (Alaimo 2016).
If shimmering, dissolving and melting is the world’s present mode of existence, we seek the potential of deliquescence, becoming liquid. We will be alive to the “powerful fantasies of transformation, whether destructive or reformative” (Leslie 2016), which cling to crystalline bodies.
A will engage with shimmering, thawing, dis/solution, and re-crystallisation in chemical and microbiological laboratories. These are the places or spacetime designed to measure, categorize, organize, and predict. In defiance of these matter-taming practices, A will be looking and sensing towards disobedience, defiance, queer and non-binary potentialities of relatings that might be flickering in the labs.