Koko the gorilla learns human sign language and then makes the sign for sad – the future is animal and the future is contained within the languages and imaginations more than human. The future is animal (meaning poetic, wild, queer, anarchic, and full of both mourning and a serious hope). Gershom Scholem (1917) writes that lament is the truest anarchy and the sadness of Koko meets the sadness of we who are all too human and who see the world encased through screen and machine and mirror and reflection and refraction. We meet one another here in the anarchic-poetic pathway of mourning, of lament, of screen, of machine, of reflection. In 1978, Koko’s photograph of herself taken by herself in a mirror lands the cover of National Geographic, the title reads, “Conversations with a Gorilla.” With whom do we converse? The world responds: frown / cry / frown / sad. We mourn. We lament. We catch our own reflection, refracted as it is within the anarchic poetry of animal, of world, of equitable futurities.
Jacqueline Viola Moulton (she/her) is an interdisciplinary artist, writer, and Ph.D. candidate in philosophy and aesthetics at the Institute for Doctoral Studies in the Visual Arts. Moulton’s creative work focuses around public, performative, and participatory poetry practices. Within scholarship, Moulton works in queer, post-humanist, and new materialist theories—focusing on the narratives of ghosts, monsters, and all manner of border-creatures. Moulton makes experimental philosophy zines under the moniker, The Depressed Waitress.