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reflexes volatile,

inhalation numbered.

'Cassandra Atrophies'

"Something bodily. Eerie memory like deja vu."

"grounds me in the present, as scent tends to overwhelm my other senses and becomes the dominating force of the moment."


"Domestic- a speculative nautical motel room?"

Copy of CAtrophy_nose.png

"The smell enhanced a sense of humidity, of water. "

"hearing it hiss and seeing it sweat/ drip water

I don't remember the details of an experience it recalled, only the sensation that my body was at one point in a different time and space."

"The subtle splashes in the audio made the room feel wet."

"[I wonder] why everything you make looks like it came from CGI."


Since collective adaptation to pandemic-being, olfaction has taken on an indicator role for immunological well-being or compromise. The situation of "Cassandra Atrophies" performs a crosswire of tensions of the traumatic and the anxiolytic for capture, if not endurance.

Primacy is granted to the autonomous fermenter, sealed-off, vaporizing a glutinous black rice mist. In turn, this discharge releases the kindred ferment frozen in life-cast ice, pooling into macroalgal biopolymer troughs.

Breath by belabored breath, an inquiry builds into eternal synthetics, fragmented ecology, pathogenic futures, and isolation reconciliation. 

Peri-erotic and depersonalized, if anything, this work does not refuse to look in the neocolonial Trojan horse's mouth of consumer simulacra, democratizing ecocide.


Chemotaxis is a living model for recalibration; the probe continues for an invisible litmus for absent accountability.

Writer & image-maker Kelly Xi (b. 1995) was weaned in Baotou, Inner Mongolia, the world’s largest supplier of rare earth metals; Neodymium powering our cerium oxide-polished electronics, screens, turbines, and electric engines.

As consumer technology and designed obsolescence reach a capital-driven global zenith, she eyestrains for the inequity between the targets and the benefactors to blinders erected by seamlessness, convenienced of accountability.


Xi’s severed hometown is the site of the Baogang Tailings Dam, a radioactive cesspool triple the size of Central Park, operated by the Bayan Obo mine of state-enterprise Baogang Steel Group.

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