Grindfest 3: The Nature of Man


Finished Event: Grindfest 3: The Nature of Man

4/28/17 – 4/30/17


Main location: 19445 Adalante Court, Tehachapi CA, 93561

Off-site: 4/29/17 overnight trip by paintball participants to Ballarat, CA.

Grindfest 3 will be an exploration of violence and the nature of man. The intent is neither glorification or condemnation of violence but rather to open up discussion as to how augmentations will alter the form violence takes and how violence will alter the forms we create or adopt.

One might question what correlation is being made between grinding and violence. As Grinders, it’s vital to account for our hereditary inheritance. Pan troglodytes chimps demonstrate a surprising level of tactical cooperation in the wars they wage. Domesticated and wild felines alike are known to torture even after their hunger is sated and they have no intention of feeding. Nietzsche created a vision of man as a transitional species; a rope stretched between animal and superman. Admittedly, the variety of superman most grinders aspire to is probably more DC comics then misogynist German aristocrat; however, on a superficial level the drive is the same. Mankind needs an upgrade. We need to be better and we won’t get there by denying the existence of our base animal inclinations.

Grindfest 3 is meant to be as apolitical as possible. There is no agenda beyond the promotion of dialogue and collaboration in the biohack community. Misanthropists and pacifists alike are welcome. Violence is a heavy theme and were it any other group of people I wouldn’t choose it. This hesitance is because I understand suffering and that trivializing it can lead to an increased tolerance for it.

For our purposes this is to discuss the instinctual drive to survive, to experience first hand how we channel our innate aggressions into games, and to create…Lets share our skills and ideas in order to make some really cool shit happen. Our treatment of this subject is intended to be serious discussion and innovation mixed with having some fun. We as grinders are trying to create the future. A better future potentially free of the ills that lead to violence. We are so serious about this that we’re willing to risk our health and our lives in self experimentation. It’s uncharacteristic for me to quote the Bible, but I think 1 Corinthians 6:12 explains it best. “Everything is permissible for me but not everything is beneficial.” So come out and have fun. Blow some things up in the desert. Laugh at people hurting each other and debate why physical humor is found in most societies. Channel your instinctual drive to survive the paintball war. More importantly though use this as an opportunity to create. Yes, violence has always been a part of life, moreover a part of what it means to be human. But Grinding empowers us to redefine what it means to be human. Let’s talk about that too.

Day One 4/28: Grindfest starts at the Auglim Lab. Along with the normal trove of collaborative projects and modification, we’ll be examining the more insidious expressions of violence — it doesn’t always take the form of physical force causing bodily injury. Volunteers will be undergo psychological, physical and/or pharmacological methods of interrogation. We’ll be competing for prizes to see who can last the longest and trying to find ways to circumvent or overcome the associated discomfort via biohacks.

Day Two 4/29:  Everyone  will be heading to Ballarat, California. This is a ghost town in a valley of the Panamint Mountains. Once the caravan arrives and camp is set we’ll spend the day firing both conventional and unconventional weapons at ballistic gelatin people and trialing armors against these munitions. As night falls, we’ll be dividing into two teams for a Grinder paintball war. This war is more than mere faux violence; it’s an opportunity to pit each teams augments and innovations against the others. One team will be focused on defense while the other will be on the offense. This war will end when either the offensive team takes the flag back to camp or the sun rises while the flag remains in the possession of the defensive team.

Day Three 4/30: The morning of the 30th the Ballarat caravan will return to the Auglim lab for some much earned rest and relaxation interspersed with brainstorming sessions and lectures. Take a dip in the sensory deprivation tank while waiting to have the latest Grinder tech implanted. To contrast the preceding violent days, volunteers will be trialing intranasal oxytocin, a hormone known to increase sympathy and facilitate emotional bonding. We’ll end our ‘fest with a feast designed around the use of Miraculin, a glycoprotein known for its ability to make acidic foods taste sweet. With miraculin, even the sourest of citrus fruits are a delicious dessert. We may not be able to escape from the violence in our genome, but perhaps through grinding and augmentation we’ll find a way to overcome or modify them…turning our inherited behavioral lemons into lemonade.