I’m still adjusting, still working it out. Lack and mild confusion are essential. It is where it always starts. The digital registers my body and my body registers the digital, though it is never really sure how to do so without disjuncture.
Through a research exercise targeting the relationship between users and editors on Wikipedia’s digital platform, a video program made freely available online, and the installation of a physical exhibition, this project continues a critical discussion of the space of disrupt between the digital and the bodies, experiences, and processes that are external to it. A website in a constant state of development functions as an archive and an exhibition platform for the research, video program, and visual works and texts commissioned specifically for the online component of the project. Most elements of this project remain open-ended and mutable, capable of being edited or added to as the website, video program, and research move forward. The video program develops in waves as new groups of video are added over the duration of the project.
Progressions of thought and movements through space are conceptually interesting yet somehow unfamiliar in the digital. Endpoints are acknowledged in the navigation of various divergent sites. The middle ground is foggy. Though this radical unfamiliarity may provide theoretical potentials for constructive disidentification, it may still be too unfamiliar. Connective points or sites of familiarity provide structures around which personal meanings can cohere.
Coherence may occur in this rupture as a fixation on a point, the investment of the self in a multitude of vessels, a momentary transparency of power, inequity, and informational flows, or the assertion of a new non-physical place of familiarity and comfort. In these ways, the space between the physical self and the digital becomes constructive for the artist/user, or at least more palatable. The work featured in the video program traffics in these functions, sometimes giving validity to anxieties about the insecurity and devaluation of digital labor or creating space to engage with the perpetual becoming that unfolds in a multiplicity of embodiments online. The artists that the physical exhibition will provide a platform for will also be included in the online video program as this project seeks to make sense of the negotiation between digital video and more object oriented work. It is integral that exhibitions under the project heading occur in both mediums in order to draw out these tensions in the divergent formations of related ideas in inter-media practices that move between digital and physical modes of display.
There is an associative logic that governs my movements from search to website, forming traceable patterns that outline a disembodied self, often for the benefit of those who wish to track my data intake and output. Though this experience may now seem familiar, the chains of thought produced by intuitive meanderings across a digital topography force their logic on mental and bodily processes that appear as separate from the digital. This imposition will not assimilate without difficulty. There is a remove between the modes of thought, production, sight, and movement experienced online and those that are external to it.
The physicalization of the digital and the creation of corporeal vessels for these abstracted relationships provide an interface for critical interaction with new distributions of space, capital, hierarchies of power, and visual life. The flux that exists between the two is a site of growing discourse in which it is necessary to continue critical dialogues on consequent economies, politics, social forms, and aesthetics. Through exhibitions across digital and physical spaces committed to these issues, this project expands that discursive sphere.