Disturbed, Hacked, Reassembled explores how artists today are employing technology to stage, interrogate and celebrate the digital female body. Disturbed, hacked, and reassembled, the body is being experienced in new ways digitally and virtually.
Central to feminist critiques of sex and gender, the body is the site of visual difference and it is through the body that difference is experienced and lived. The development of technology and the inception of the Internet have opened up online spaces and virtual worlds that are inhabited by interactive avatars, orbiting 3D body parts and user generated identities. Disturbed, Hacked, Reassembled reflects on these developments and our enduring fascination with the posthuman. Are new technologies helpful for our understanding of gender or do they perpetuate traditional concepts of masculinity and femininity? Are subject and object fixed positions or can they be challenged by embodying the virtual? What do new imaging technologies mean for the representational and the real? By exploring a range of subjects including 3D digital modelling, the virtual body, the dissemination of the female image and digital healing, the project asks, what are the limits and freedoms of the digital body?
The exhibition presents new and existing works by three artists and an artist collective spanning moving image, virtual reality, animation and video installation. ‘Paradise Found’ (2017) by Lisa Carletta uses 3D scanning technology and animation to explore the disintegration and reconstruction of identity, the body and the digital self. She presents a digital avatar of herself which resists the body image ideals that are advanced online in 3D CGI image libraries. The reality of representation is also explored in Suzannah Pettigrew’s ‘IC€Y’ (2017), a four channel video installation that explores the fragility of social currency. Hierarchical systems and iconographies of the female experience are investigated and dissected using footage sourced online. Content is reassembled and assigned new forms, the video of a video of a video, information on information on information. Keiken present ‘Silicone_Animism | The Birth of Mother Digital’ (2017), an interactive installation where the cybersoul contracts in the interuterus. VR, video and sound trace the birth of the digital, a giant networked space fused with human interaction and technology. Advancements in technology are also investigated in ‘Sugar Walls Teardom (Homage To Dark Labia)’ (2016) by Tabita Rezaire. The work explores the contributions of black women’s wombs to the advancement of modern medical science and technology. The work attempts to heal exploited and abused female bodies and celebrate womb technology through an account of coercive anatomic politics.
Disturbed, Hacked, Reassembled also plays host to a programme of performance, discussion and workshops. Speakers from a range of backgrounds will exchange ideas surrounding the posthuman, the cyborg, digital eroticism, feminist digital art practices and the augmented body, as well as the gender gap in the world of technology, female representation online and the importance of digital exchange. Workshops led by artists and tech professionals give participants an opportunity to use the latest technology to reassemble, recreate, repurpose or resist their own ideas around gender, race, sexuality and the body.
By presenting these works together, alongside a programme of performance, discussion and workshops, Disturbed, Hacked, Reassembled demonstrates how the site of the female body, in a digital era, continues to pose important questions around commodification, gender binaries, representation, sexuality and race. As the discourse surrounding these subjects continues to develop, the project creates a space for reflection, a platform to disturb, hack and reassemble existing conditions and newfound knowledge.
Disturbed, Hacked, Reassembled is curated by DRIVE-THRU with thanks to Lewisham Arthouse.