The exhibition a skeleton, just like the rest of us* harbours affection for a world that does not necessarily have to be “our” world, and draws attention to the connectivities between humans, animals, plants, aliens—entities, connectivities that are subtle and call into question hierarchies. As an alien, Darth Vader is always already defined by his “otherness”.** He is only allowed to come to “our” world if he can demonstrate productive qualities that justify his temporary stay.*** (Science-)Fiction then, just like collective and personal nightmares, dreams or anecdotes, is not an escape to another world, but rather can be used as a tool to probe past, present or future scenarios.****
On this planet, the only one that is—still—habitable, we are all housemates with a shared bathroom. Perhaps the dog had more fun taking a walk with the drone while its supposed companion species***** was stuck in lock-down. But even if we must disengage and bury ourselves under many layers, our shells can only ever be as hard and protective as technologies always seem autonomous and detached from history. Such skeletons and special abilities may be of cloned nature, revealing them as just one among many.
* Pagan on Star: “You know what Darth Vader looks like beneath that mask? He’s a skeleton. Just like the rest of us.” Andrea Arnold: American Honey [Film], 2016, 163 min.
** Vivian Sobchack: Postfuturism, in: The Gendered Cyborg: A Reader, 1987/2000, p. 136–147; Rosi Braidotti: Nomadic Subjects: Embodiment and Sexual Difference in Contemporary Feminist Theory, 2011.
*** “Alien of extraordinary ability” is a classification applied by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, in order to grant non-US citizens with extraordinary talents either temporary or permanent residence status in the US.
**** Ursula K. Le Guin: The Left Hand of Darkness, 1967.
***** Donna Haraway, When Species Meet, 2007.