Performer Daniel Aschwanden´s research is presently dealing with the topic of the „dogmen“ and transfers the results based on variations of so called „Pan Hu“, a myth passed on by minorities in China like the Yao, or Miao people, into contemporary contexts. It´s about formulating new urban legends on the base of old myths and about articulating them in various media.
Hybrids exist since human culture exists. The old myths are actually full of them. Beings as a crossover between seemingly not compatible types of animals and humans – they depict the impossible, often merging the imaginary and real powers of the animals involved. Dog-Men being one of the oldest archetypes known in different high-cultures from ancient Egypt to China.
In the 80ies and 90 ies of the past century Donna Harraway wrote the „Cyborg Manifesto“ – describing technological hybrids in the sense of technology invading the human bodies to create a new being as a human – machine interface.
But in the light of new technologies appearing based on biological engineering a new type of bodies can potentially be created: Technologically mediated analog bodies – growing in natural ways and existing „in nature“. This situation changes the old definitions between „natural“ and „artificial“ – merging the two. It also can have a deep impact on questions of identity – if until now questions of „otherness“ have often been negotiated in terms of race and gender – there can be completely new terms of that negotiation – because we can imagine any type of „body“ to be created.