mothertongue.m3u, the “when dictation sings” poetic, ambient-beat, post-nightcore release by Rachika S (production, guitar, mixing) and Biki Zoom (words), has been out for a brilliant minute, and it’s been playing on repeat for me most of today. Streaming below these few sentences is the full stream for the release, which is comparable to the works of Elysia Crampton, Amnesia Scanner, and Quantum Natives when they were incorporating lost prose in their works. Most of the release touches upon sexuality and gender narratives, but staggers between the emotionally romantic and flagrantly biological. mothertongue.m3u is a reality for a minute or 23:
Welp, luckily (and gorgeously), mothertongue.m3u has been spun into a wonderfully curious video starring TMT’s very own, Jeffrey Dunn Rovinelli! Following along themes of “identity” that Biki Zoom beholds (literally) in mothertongue.m3u, the Rachika S- and Neo Sora-directed video focuses on four or five bodies observing, touching, kissing, and (individually) identifying each other’s bodies in the corner of the room. And this is exactly what is happening: identification. Not of particulars. Not of distinction. Identification of the presence.
Interestingly, as the viewer, one is placed as the lens witnessing this bed in the corner of a room while blissfully peaceful images cascade across four to five bodies just “figuring things out.” And it’s not a DEEP “figuring things out.” It’s momentary and instinctual. It’s these bodies observing each other’s bodies experiencing a constant flow of emotion. Most importantly, it’s tiny fragments of enlightenment. Enlightenment of discovery, post-youth, hairs in crevasses, JOY, longing, immediacy, intimacy, distance, contentment, freedom, and a little bit of loss that only stems from gain. The video for mothertongue.m3u by Rachika S and Biki Zoom is the image we all share and consider, “Oh, I slept well. And had a great dream about us.” Dream of us and never see our face(s):
WORDS FROM THE MAKER:
Written internationally between Japan and Brooklyn, mothertongue.m3u is a collaborative ambient-electronic/digital-poetry (video) album produced by freak-femme musician Rachika S with words & lyrics written by queero artist Biki Zoom. The video is co-directed by Rachika S and local video artist Neo Sora.
We are exhausted with the level of lovelessness that pervades our queer networks, despite the will, the longing, and the desperation to hold onto one another. It’s because of borders. Borders figure quite literally into the making of this project as Biki was forced to move back to Tokyo last year due to visa restrictions. But it’s not just the boundaries delineating political entities and physical space. We’re thinking abt the intransgressable lines formed by personal and intergenerational trauma fracturing our bonds with our friends and family, through our limited capacities for care and augmented ones for violence.
The video calls upon moments of queer family tenderness that built glimpses of Utopian togetherness & otherWorldly healing amid the violence those borders galvanized: the arrest of my political refugee housemate, the sexual assault of close friends, the suicide attempts of lovers and friends. Footage of my and a lover’s hands caressing are projected over the entangled bodies of me and three lovers/friends holding each other in my bedroom, as a haunted vision of intimacy in the interstices of queer futurity & past.
The “m3u” in the title acts as a playful figure of queers’ cyborg selves, our inventiveness and mediation—the means by which we construct digital lifelines toward one another, and lines of flight into Other Worlds, into the Virtual & the possible, from the limitations of this one.