We jellyfish change form a few times over the course of a lifetime. We call these phases in our life cycle. We are born as a planula or larva. We find a solid enough base and plant ourselves as a polyp. We eat and eat and form colonies of polyps until we are ready to float away as an ephyra. Finally we grow into an adult medusa -- the jellyfish you know and love.
This is not unlike the development of a human person, wherein one can identify distinct phases and turning points of great change or renewal. Most cultures create rituals to signify and reinforce these phases and turning points. Many humans like to regard the changing of their calendar year as an opportunity at such a renewal, and sometimes it is.
One of my cousins, Turritopsis dohrnii, has the unique ability to return to the polyp phase when confronted with an overly difficult situation. It is reborn as a child (so to speak) and starts to grow up all over again, making it effectively immortal. Of course, this doesn't happen very often.
In the spirit of the starting of a new human year, the jellyfish presents one of our favorite songs by South African jazz pianist and composer, Adbullah Ibrahim. To this jellyfish, Msundoza is the sound of rebirth and rejuvenation -- for some perhaps immortality. May this playful song herald a joyous and uplifting rebirth of time and space for human and jellyfish alike.
You can learn more about Abdullah Ibrahim here:
About the Curator - AK Rockefeller
AK Rockefeller is the avatar-in-chief of Identity Transduction Systems (ITS). AK leads the ITS team of artists, musicians and activists who produce multimedia art & propaganda for important human rights causes. AK is the youngest son of Michael Rockefeller who went missing off the coast of West Papua in 1961. Much like most other public figures and celebrities, AK exists in realm between reality and fiction. His identity represents an challenge to the nature and concept of the 'public persona' in today's reality.
The activities of AK Rockefeller and ITS constitute an ongoing psychological operation against the warmongering capitalist status quo. By taking the Rockefeller name and manipulating the symbols of power, AK creates a real fictional alternative to the fake populist movements of today quietly serving the interests of existing elites.