We are in talks with a Canadian film festival to put on this new project, curated by Tansy Xiao with Queerskins: a love story for VR. Hopefully, we will be presenting it at Tribeca VR Arcade as well. Although it is very simple, the impact can be quite profound. What you realize is that as we move more and more into the virtual, objects–the weight, color, smell, patina of materials become even more powerful.
This crowd-sourced project explores and encourages expanded forms of intimacy enabled by the Internet and social media platforms. Appropriating these procedures not only as part of their art-making but also as a means of distribution, the artists celebrate the willingness of strangers to give of themselves to others. Importantly, they, re-introduce the awkward, fragile condition of embodiment (both in terms of material objects and the bodies of those who receive the gifts) as a catalyst and reservoir for generating discomfort, surprise, and delight.
The project itself is a hybrid machine that moves between virtual, imagined realities and material/historical ones. It is a kind of game played by three people that begins with a donor imagining the perfect lover, the lover who will accept and love her exactly as she is The donor offers some object meaningful to her that she hopes will be received with perfect understanding and requisite respect and honor. The stranger has the same idea, and chooses the object that best resonates with her as a gift given by her dream lover. She then displays it/communes with it upon or in her body with all the reverence and love that she feels or wishes she felt. In this way, the object becomes a transitory prosthesis (touch deferred) or else the stranger becomes a queer skin (in video game terms) for that object. This act, then in the form of a photograph (facilitated by the artists) posted on Instagram, becomes her gift in return. The donor and the stranger will likely never meet, but they have shared something incredibly intimate which is both materially real and entirely imagined.
Loosely inspired by the multimedia narrative Queerskins (www.queerskins.com), which tells the story of a young gay physician from a rural Catholic Missouri family who dies of AIDS in 1990, the project asks participants and viewers to consider what happens to the concept of love when the dangers and pleasures of material exchange are eschewed in favor of virtual transmission.
We have two events in February featuring photographer Tagger Yancey
February 14th 6-10 pm at Sensei Gallery, NYC
February 17th 6-10 pm at Arete Gallery Brooklyn
Please join us as a donor or lover or both.