Region/Concept: East Asia, Myth
Sub-Concepts: Movement, Play, Abandonment, Flight
Description: Secretive graffiti artist DALeast leaves massive spray-painted images (mostly of animals) across the walls of global cities.

The Dream of Animality: one of the most ancient obsessions of human consciousness (the first gods were beasts). Myths of flight, of synchronous movement, muscular symmetry, the mastery of horizontal and vertical surfaces, predatory instinct, playfulness and lethal ability. And yet this perfect unity (of intention, design, action, and desire) is attained through an ability to become fragmented (to abandon, shatter, molecularize, decompose, and leave oneself). This is why every child’s tale of entrance into the liberated territories of animality (the forest, the jungle, wonderland) first requires a self-forgetting that breaks apart identity. Only then are the gifts of untamed beings seen in totems and cave paintings—realms of consumption, sensation, roaming, sleep, violence, and endless motion—made available to the human mind/touch. This art-form of postmodern vandalism thus ironically serves to resuscitate a primordial tradition of image-making: visions of flight, curvature, aeriality, and the unbound.

Jason Mohaghegh