Bodies in Space: Identity, Sexuality, and the Abstraction of the Digital and Physical
Lecture by Karen Archey
A lecture by Karen Archey, an art critic and a curator, was the second of the meetings as a part of the programme accompanying "Private Settings. Art After the Internet" exhibition.
One of the great failures of post-internet has been its dogmatism toward conventional modes of authorship (the objective, intellectual auteur) and the aesthetics paired with it (often described as trendy and unrelated to the subject matter at hand), which seems cognitively dissonant with the internet’s cultural democratization that it seeks to address. Rarely does post-internet work directly address the body or sexuality—two main entry points of our contemporary lived experience.
The talk “Bodies in Space: Identity, Sexuality, and the Abstraction of the Digital and Physical” considers how the body is variably mediated by virtual and physical space, and seeks to act as a historical corrective to recent such cultural discourse dominated by academic and theoretical narratives. Guided by both the work of artists and readings of Laura Mulvey’s “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema” and Tiziana Terranova’s 2004 book “Network Culture: Politics for the Information Age,” the talk convenes artists who seek radical sources of personal or sexual identification, and who work to redefine the definition and boundaries of the body in the internet age.
The talk ends with a speculative conversation regarding the dissolving of offline and online binaries via a reading of Tiziana Terranova’s “Network Culture,” proffering instead the idea that information embodies most everything around us, and that offline/online binaries seem redundant in an age in which everything can be seen as a product of data.