Text by Claudia Contu —

1. Terra, before (The Rabbit God — ​吾生吾死 )

THIS IS YOUR GENERATOR OF MEMORIES. TO START REMEMBERING, SELECT YOUR GENRE.

❖  ROMANCE
❖  FANTASY
❖  HORROR
❖  NATURE

YOU SELECTED ‘LGBTQ+ DRAMA’. FOR A BEST EXPERIENCE, PLEASE ACTIVATE YOUR SIMULATOR OF FEELINGS NOW.

AHFC. 2020 – Photo: Claudia Cantu

If we get through the gate, we’ll be safe. The border is just beyond it, and we’ll be fine. We will be able to get a house on the 53rd floor and stuff it with all the tech-gadgets that you like so much. I’ll cook dinner every evening. And you’ll wash the dishes, because you know that I hate washing the dishes! We will lay on the sofa, watch a movie or read, and go to bed and make love. Like every other couple. We would wake up and salute the Rabbit God *​兔兒神​. Then, if it’s not too hot and humid outside, we could take a walk by the Tamsui River *​淡水河 ​drinking Bubble Tea​ while chatting about the most recent missions on the Moon. Where will humans go next?

(HAO!) ​The security drags her away, her face turning towards me. ​(LEAVE HER!) ​Someone grabs me and pulls me from behind, while Hao’s eyes travel all the way into my soul and my heart gets swollen. Dead. ​ (Remember me, Hao! )

I often dream of going to the wrong airport. I run fast, trying to make people around me understand that this is urgent. I ​need​ to get to the right airport. The man at the information point tells me there is no means of transportation to the right airport. I tell him it’s impossible. At a distance, my friends are checking on me if I am doing okay. My sister is with them, and I can see her laughing and telling them how stupid I am. «Going to the wrong airport. The only place she should go is straight back to Italy.»

I dash outside, around the city, a place that looks like Venice, or Genoa. So technically, I ​am​ in Italy already. Is there a tube I can take? I am going to miss the flight. I won’t be able to see her if I miss this flight.

Every night, I have this dream where I am at some airport.
Every morning, I wake up and the first thing I remember is Hao’s eyes disappearing behind a door. 5354 ​*​唔生唔死​ days ago. I put my simulator of feelings on, so I can remember what love feels like.

London, Brick Lane. 2020 – Photo: Claudia Contu
GIVE WAY. 2020 – Photo: Claudia Contu

2. Terra before Luna (The Bunny)

❮❮The next station is South Kensington.❯❯
A Bunny stands up and checks behind them that their seat is empty. They are about to get off the train when suddenly, while grabbing their cell phone, a cascade of coins falls from their pocket. The coins bounce on the train’s floor and through the open doors. One, two, three, maybe five quid shining on a black, yellow and green pattern. Some fall in ❮❮THE GAP BETWEEN THE TRAIN AND THE PLATFORM.❯❯
❮❮This train is ready to depart. Stand clear of the closing doors.❯❯ the doors close.
«Shit.» Mutters the Bunny, putting their phone back in the coat and then bending to collect the coins. The train is empty, except for a couple of old humans staring at the Bunny. Their faces marked by endless wrinkles. Their eyes, melted caramel sticking to the bunny as soon as the three exchange glances. Embarrassed, the creature tucks their long black hair behind an ear and looks away, feeling the weight of their body resetting on their paws in reaction to the increasing speed of the train. Most coins are still on the floor. It would be easier if only they could afford prosthetic aluminium thumbs.
❮❮下一站是景美。❯❯
The old hooman has approached with respect, softly taps on the Bunny’s shoulder. The creature instantly turns to face him while he bows his head.
«Just leave them. Come.» They look at the old man, gobsmacked. Hoomans seldom come so close. The Bunny stands up, forgetting about the train, and the station, and the stop. They are still deep into the man’s eyes while the doors close. The train, looking like a snake’s womb, starts moving while the old wooman is still watching from her seat. Has she zoned out? Is she even present? She smells like early stages of Alzheimer.
The Bunny scratches its hair once or twice, walking with the hooman.
«Flying ants! In your fur!» Shouts the man, alerted.
❮❮Pasteur. Fermata Pasteur.❯❯
The Bunny stops, dithering. They are not paying attention to the stations anymore, but instead they try to catch each and every flying ant, and toss them away. The ants seemingly come out of nowhere, and they get thicker and bigger. Their translucent wings, the shimmering coins, and the intermittent lights from the tunnels make the group stand out as a gleaming vision. The old hooman is also helping to take the ants off. The Bunny suddenly realises that they won’t be able to get off the train before all the ants are removed.
❮❮The next station is Jupite❯❯

Claustrophobia. 2020 – Photo: Angiet Chen

3. Luna, now (The Moon Hare — ​月兔​)

Since the hoomans almost got swept away by the face of the universe during the Great Extinction on Terra, the Lunarians have succeeded in repopulating Luna. The Industrial Wastelands on Luna covered an area measuring approximately half the size of the Siberia Region on Terra. There used to be mountains of hooman trash here, but now that they are extinct, those have been removed.
First, the Moon Hare *​月兔​ came back. Lunarians followed. Their lives depend on the Moon Hare, a quasi-deity that produces the elixir of life. The Moon Hare is generous and spares some with the Lunarians when we demonstrate their devotion. Once a day (the equivalent of 28 Terran days), a Lunarian gets to undertake the process of Re-Orientation, a medical procedure conferring an individual a new sex. Each and every sex, its shape and function, was designed in the Beginning by the Moon Hare and their preferences.
For centuries, the Lunarians’ sexual organs have paid homage to the God, who would give them life, through the elixir, in exchange. This dependency slowly led the civilisation to acquire considerable longevity while turning its individuals into sterile beings. They had solved the problem of starvation, but realised that they would die without progenies, on the long haul. That’s why they took the last hoomans with them.
As a species on the verge of extinction themselves, hoomans were the best at finding solutions to create new beings. They mastered the science of reproduction while on Terra. For this reason, each year a couple of hoomans is brought from the Far Side of Luna to perform the artificial pollination on Lunarians. The cubs are borne by a self-sufficient chamber that feeds them the elixir until they are grown enough to come out.
That day, one Lunarian was assigned for re-orientation. After having exhausted the Moon Hare’s requests, they were brought to the Medical Centre and that’s where they met her. The hooman. She carried out the procedure while the Lunarian was partially sedated. Her face was the portrait of concentration. After everything was over, she took care of the postoperative recovery and spent time with the Lunarian day after day, until all protocols for the cub’s birth were fulfilled.
Their bodies touched once, outside of the medical routine.
The Lunarian didn’t know why they felt for that hooman, but they knew that they were feeling. They might have been the only one of their kind to have ever felt for a hooman. Lunarians thought hoomans to be disgusting, as they would tell the younger generation. They prompted their own extinction. They are traitors of the equilibrium of the galaxy and an offense to the Gods. They deserve to live at the Far Side of Luna and be haunted by Gudiaos *​蠱雕​.
The hooman was sent away once the cub left the chamber. The Lunarian hasn’t seen her ever since. But sometimes, a little spot under their skin softly vibrates, for just a fraction of a second, and they know it’s her. They gently caress the same spot glancing at Terra from their habitable unit, knowing that she feels them back.

Terra From Luna. Source: California Institute of Technology.
Kissing gate. 2020 – Photo: Angiet Chen

The Bunny’s Tale is a commissioned text for World Wide Window, which is artist Mikki Nordman ’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is a real time digital artwork, an art archive based on numeric data of the fast spreading virus. As the disease spreads and the numbers grow, a recreation of Francisco de Zurbaran’s painting Agnus Dei (1640) is gradually taking its shape on the online platform. Nordman created an algorithm that uses emojis and symbols as building blocks for the virtual painting. Through the historical painting the artist reflects on the nearly biblical proportions of the current pandemic, and its impact on society. By using our digital network and by collecting thoughts and perspectives of other artists around the world, the project fights against the overwhelming feeling of isolation and illustrates solidarity in these demanding times. World Wide Window is commissioned by The Finnish Cultural and Academic Institutes’ Together Alone project.
For more information about the projects please visit.
www.mikkinordman.com
www.togetheralonefi.com