June 4, 2009

Visited the DLI Museum in Durham to see the Jerwood drawing prize 2008 exhibition at last week.

Interested by the digital piece ‘ Trans Siberian Window drawing 200’ by Neville Gabie.

neville gabie

Partly through seeing this piece helped to push a query that has been edging in to my thoughts: that digital media has provided me with a new tool with which to question and examine physicality. And it is beginning to make me question my previous thoughts around the possible change in our understanding of our/ and need of physicality in the digital age. If I am finding digital media useful in examining aspects of physicality, it could be indicative of the fact that digital media isn’t necessarily bringing a dislocation from the physical self.

Reading ‘Digital Art’ by Christiane Paul (Pub. Thames and Hudson) raises these questions again.

'Digital Art.'  Christine Paul. Pub. Thames and Hudson

Christiane Paul states:

‘Current interface standardization has led to an overall restraining mechanism for the human body, which is forced to conform to the computer and monitor – although these standard interfaces will probably radically change in the future. the tension between embodiment/ disembodiment can not be constructed as a choice of either/or but has to be understood as a reality of both/and.’

(Chapter 3: Themes in Digital Art. p.170)

Paul quotes the artist Eduard Kac :

‘The passage in to a digital culture – with its standard interfaces that requires us to  pound at a keyboard and sit behind a desk while staring at a  screen – creates a physical trauma that amplifies the psychological shock generated by ever faster cycles of  technological invention, development, and obsolescence.’

(Chapter 3: Themes in Digital Art. p.170)



Have also been thinking about the role of our skins in social interaction, as Samuel’s is deteriorating again with the increasing pollen allergens.

And thinking about how much one is judged by the appearance of skin… how skin is linked to identity / self/ self image.

samuel's necksamuel's hands 2samuel's back

The idea that skin has an ability to help assign or affirm, our place in society (eg: in providing clues to age, health, status, race, gender.) for others when coming in to visual contact with us.

How the notion of invasion. Of the body as a state, of a fortress that is breached by infection and therefore perceived as a threat to others and society, as something devalued.

Donna Haraway in ‘Simians, Cyborgs and Women.’ (Free Association Books, London 1991)  states:

‘My thesis is that the immune system is an elaborate icon for principle  systems of  symbolic  and material ‘difference’ in late capitalism.’

(Chapter 10: ‘ The Biopolitics of postmodern Bodies: Constitutions of self in Immune system disorders’  p.204)