Online platform upstream.gallery proudly presents its third exhibition
Curator: Jan Robert Leegte
LaTurbo Avedon, Petra Cortright, Harm van den Dorpel, Miron Galić, Yael Kanarek, Jan Robert Leegte, Cassie McQuater, Martine Neddam, Marisa Olson, Jonathan Puckey, Sabrina Ratté, Akihiko Taniguchi and Damon Zucconi
Opening, Friday May 22nd, 17.00 (CEST)
“A show about our awkwardness, aches and astonishment with our mediated selves. Do our avatars share our dreams at night?”
“It’s like being in an aquarium” – Josephine Bosma mentioned during a Jitsi gallery opening, observing 20 people side by side looking at each other, not knowing what to say in this precarious but novel condition. The Lockdown has accelerated our forced embrace with our mediated selves. Headaches, loss of focus, but also experimentation, resulting in new and exciting ways of communicating.
Our history with computers is also a history of our real-time representation within computers. It being an interactive medium, the machine needs our presence in some way; a mouse pointer, the typing of letters in a text field, a voice, moving avatar or video stream. But how deeply related we are with our representation, it operates in a different realm. The mirror or echo of our actions has a flavour of its own. This dissociation brings in a digital weird that becomes a new space.
This exhibition showcases works from 1998 to 2020, that all navigate this space, reflecting on how our disembodied selves echo back their unique presence.
DIGITAL FLESH & BLOOD
Manthos: In what way is the energy of virtual life passed on to real life? Or the other way round?
Mouchette: Virtual life is a form of death. The body must be annihilated completely. Everything organic, biologic has to disappear from the communication: no more voice, no more breath, no more flesh, no more eyes… a perfect and total disembodiement! No wonder you hear so much about suicide on my site. Virtual life is a technologically complex form of suicide. Of course, subsequently, one can be reborn on the net as a new entity, in a form that one would choose and fabricate, as a living being with no teeth, no saliva, no skin, no smile. Instead of that, this being would have pixels, code, text characters. Here is my portrait, my spitting image: all I am is words and pixels put together by means of codes and viewed on a monitor.
Once the suicide is successfully accomplished, real life comes back to haunt virtual life. The teeth and the smile return under the pixels, the kiss resurfaces under the screen. I made a work called Flesh&Blood where the viewer has to come closer and kiss the screen, lick the glass surface of the monitor and try to believe that there is a real living body in front of him/her.
Is the illusion of life successful? Is the glass of the computer monitor cold or warm when you kiss it? My viewers are divided on this question…
Rape, Murder and Suicide are easier when you use a keyboard shortcut in Leonardo Journal, volume 38, June 2005, MIT Press, extract of an interview of Mouchette by Manthos Santorineos