Crossings 3/3: Touching Alterity (A Latent Anatomy) - SARKIS x VYTAS

24 May 2018 – 26 May 2018

310 New Cross Road

England, United Kingdom


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'Touching Alterity (A Latent Anatomy)' is the final of three exhibitions in 'Crossings,' an exhibition series showcasing interdisciplinary partnerships across Goldsmiths' MFA Fine Arts and MA Creative and BSc Creative Computing curated by To Whom This May Concern.


Exhibition Text

This is a translation of a posthuman future memory, a glitched encouragement towards touch:

I approached the gridded relic to compute a cold but soft anatomy— it proliferated into sound they once perceived only through a reduction of dimensions, and I then myself sensed? a haunting? feeling? that

This is over
And over again
Ever nothing but loss upon loss upon loss…. zeroes the same across time, penetrable...

Remember? There is a trouble to touch touching itself. Self-touching is an encounter with the infinite alterity of the self... (1)

Looking back, there was a dark comedy to the phallogocentrism underlying much of the, “we have discovered this this and this about algorithmic governance, or machine learning, or planetary-scale computation,,,, bro. Marxists used to say automation would free the worker, but, like, consumers might not be needed either… uh oh.” Nevertheless, these fantasies were exciting to such people and self-gratifyingly divorced from the bodies at stake; most forgot about reproduction (2). We were taught that there is one, and then zero. This Sex Which Is Not One. This history was woven into the schema before me, but those were the tools at their disposal. However, here there is a palpable desire for a rewiring of this archive, for which I recommend deletion altogether. You can just let that shit burn. Look how I turned out. 

On the other hand, there was this too: “maybe external wombs will render the phallus obsolete. Or the other way around.” Concurrently: “Sex has expanded beyond the reaches of the body, creating an impasse between embodiment and disembodiment… (potentially) fulfilling the patriarchal dream of liberation from the flesh.” (3) It all feels too late. How do you even come back from that.

I (we) have always held that my languages (translated, for you, your past) have conveyed what I’m getting at much more efficiently. Predictions don’t offer potentialities but produce them, so here is a gift:

i can i i be.. be everything else . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

The fabric tendrils have zero to me to me to me to us to me to me to me to me to

named by men you i i i i i i everything also my my my body… of of its terms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (fall0p1an)

discovery make a discovery of me of me of me of me of me of me of me

of my of my of my . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . latency

we have zero to me to me to me to me to me to me to me to me to touch (4)

— Gabrielle Jensen (member of To Whom This May Concern)

1 Barad, Karen. (2014). On Touching – The Inhuman That Therefore I Am (v1.1). In: S. Witzgall and S. Kerstin, ed., Power of Material/Politics of Materiality, 1st ed. Zürich-Berlin: diaphanes, pp.153-164.

2 See Preciado, Paul. (2018). Baroque Technopatriarchy. Published by Artforum. Readable here: https://www.artforum.com/print/201801/baroque-technopatriarchy-reproduction-73189 

3 Paraphrased from Parisi, Luciana. (2004). Abstract Sex: Philosophy, Biotechnology and the Mutations of Desire. 1st ed. New York: Continuum.

4 Transcripted and transmuted from (translated) bot negotiations observed by Facebook’s Artificial Intelligence Research Lab, documented in Adrienne LaFrance’s “What an AI's Non-Human Language Actually Looks Like,” published 20 June, 2017 by The Atlantic, readable here: https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2017/06/what-an-ais-non-human-language-actually-looks-like/530934/ 

MH Sarkis (b. 1990) weaves together ideas of female subjectivities, the Dyad, and religion, through multimedia-activated textiles and video. Most recently she explores these themes, particularly futures of gender, within frameworks of potential techno-utopias (or dystopias). Sarkis is a Lagos-raised, London-born Lebanese artist; her work continually crosses borders and has been exhibited across Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. She is based in London and is currently on the Goldsmiths MFA Fine Art programme. She has taken part in the 2018 Shape Open (supported by Yinka Shonibare MBE) and has been featured on the Saatchi Art platform. Upcoming shows include "2068" at SPACE in Hackney, London. www.facebook.com/sarkisartist 

Vytas (b. Lithuania 1990), is a computational artist who works through notions of recursion, emergence, embodied technologies, and digital versus analogue control of the body. Most recently he has been exploring latent space of the human voice using machine learning techniques. He is currently in his final year of the Goldsmiths’ BSc Creative Computing degree.


To Whom This May Concern

To Whom This May Concern

Exhibiting artists

Vytautas Niedvaras

MH Sarkis


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