Anna Zett⁠—Artificial Gut Feeling

8 October 2019

“This being is able to transform movement into speech. It winds itself about inside me like a thick snake and I have to use all my strength to let it spin and do what it does. When I wilfully try to stop it, it begins to whisper words to me and that is even more unpleasant. If I were to associate this gut feeling with an emotion, I would say disgust. But this disgust is not directly linked to your name.”

If winning can only occur in a competition between equal opponents, someone who isn’t equal will need to adopt a different strategy and let go of the promise, or the curse, of victory. Anna Zett takes up the challenge in this collection of personal science fiction, registering the traces systems of power leave in the body, in its locomotory, nervous and digestive systems. Zett’s voice appears in several textual guises, addressing authority, resistance, trauma and the physicality of language. Dedicated to the feminist revolution, the post-socialist subject of Artificial Gut Feeling questions logocentric and capitalist beliefs about the economy of meaning. This book gathers together fists, guts and brains to gain a deeper understanding of the non-verbal roots of dialogue.

Publication date: 8 October 2019
ISBN: 978-1-9164250-3-3
Size: 21.6 x 13.9 cm, 96 pages, paperback
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Anna Zett (b. 1983, Leipzig) is an artist, writer and maker of films and radio plays. Their work combines historical research and poetic form with a playful, dialogic practice. In 2014 they released two videos dealing with extinct animals as emblems of colonial capitalism in the New World, which were screened widely in the context of contemporary art. In recent years, their research into the cosmology of scientific modernism has focused on post-communist trouble, industrialism and the German heritage of violence. Formally, their artistic emphasis moves towards rhythm, sound and the human body’s capacity to improvise verbal and non-verbal communication. Zett has written and directed two experimental radio plays for German public radio, and (co-)hosted participatory formats of storytelling, discourse and choreography. Artificial Gut Feeling is their first book. They live in Berlin.

Sanja Grozdanić, ‘Favorite lockdown reads for the holidays’, Callie’s, 27 December 2020
Eric Aldrich, ‘Artificial Gut Feeling – Anna Zett’, Full Stop, 14 May 2020
Kim Modig, ‘Here for the flow: Anna Zett’s Artificial Gut Feeling essays offer ringside seats to the fervently thinking body’, AQNB, 14 November 2019

Praise for Artificial Gut Feeling:

In this science fiction, science provides metaphors for postmodern feminist theory. Zett has clearly researched the science at the foundation of these metaphors, especially electricity and neurotransmitters, and the result is engaging, unique, and insightful.
– Eric Aldrich

These are not the writings of a solitary author holed up in their study but of someone who uses text as an elastic tool to negotiate, rehearse (ideas, bodies), and perform with others.
– Kim Modig