« Thanks | Main | Uber-Embodiment: Faith Wilding's comments »


Thinking about this panel I conceptualized for Media Art Forum (Moscow, June 28):

Panel Discussion: “Super-Embodiment of Woman-Artist in Media Art”

Question of Embodiment and in particular – Nudity and the Nude – have become key issues in contemporary art, theory and politics. Women artists face what Foucault called ‘hysteriarization of female body’, while men artists face an issue of ‘absent male body’ (Kelly Oliver) and respond to it with various strategies. One might argue that both Western and Eastern European women artists have exhibited ‘too much body’, and to a certain extent find it difficult to leave “body” behind. However, we rarely discuss what impact socialist gender policies and practices
have had on this process within aesthetics. If performance art leaves us with legacy of ‘too much body’ - ‘super-embodiment’, - one wonders of it morphs into (new) media art as question of ‘machine’ / ‘cyborg’ embodiment and its identity. Media art by Boryana Dragoeva Rossa
(Bulgaria), Erika Katalina Pasztor (Hungary), and Elena Kovylina (Germany / Russia) will serve as case studies, alternative to and through ‘super-embodiment’ in contemporary art.
Participants: Nina Czegledy, Anne Nigten, Angela Plohman, Irina Aristarkhova, Olga Shishko, and Elena Kovylina.

Some thoughts:

1. "Body" from performance art into media art (like video) and new media (like Stelarc or SubRosa). It does not seem accidental that some of the more successful new media artists and art groups (apart from net-art), come from performance art tradition.

2. Coupling with 20th century European conceptual obsession with the 'body', 'embodiment', etc., to deconstruct the subject, it leads us to 'cyborg body' or 'technological body' concerns, clearly present in bio-art.

3. Remebering that this is a specifically Western history: Christian + capitalist history, it would be interesting to explore what Ryklin called "bodies of terror" within Soviet past, and wheather gender, sexual difference and Soviet past contributed to our media art and new media art aesthetics.

Some problems:

1. A certain unexplored identification of 'nudity' with 'freedom'. Not so much as a problem of 'impossibility of freedom', but still as some kind of belief in 'representation' and its power.

2. Medium is the body, still, and not the message. We declare more than we can.

3. Interesting unpacking through this of Western aesthetics as romantic tradition of human form (in Kantian / Hegelian formulation) - and that which makes / frames it: post-human, animal, machine, monster, God, and so on.

4. Thus, 'too much body'...

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)