My article ‘Bodies in Flux’ is available in the newly published Scandal in European and American Culture Volume 1. This publication comes from the the Taboo – Trend – Transgressions conference I spoke at in November of 2011 in Poland and features much of my MFA thesis findings. It is my first international publication, and I’m very grateful for all opportunity to be involved in the first volume of this exciting project.
More information on the publication can be found here
Here it is! In the flesh, so to speak.
Grace+ is a social ‘habitat’, translating social networking from its online form, back into the real. So interconnected that there may not be any more room for you to fit within it. The items that make up a space for living are accessible from all sides, yet you cannot live comfortably in this space.
The printed catalogues were hand sewn with white wool in a Japanese stab-binding style. But if you weren’t lucky enough to get one of them you can find the full catalogue here:
My name is Grace Kingston and I’m a conceptual artist from Petersham.
My current creative project is… At the moment I’m finishing my MFA at COFA, it’s a research degree with a practical component, so I’m mainly focused on finishing my thesis and working towards my end of degree exhibition. My work experiments with the relationships between visceral bodies, identity and technology, at the point where bodies encroach on technology. The artwork investigates new aesthetics produced from a culture operating on an increasingly cyber-based identity. Responding to the last decades of Posthumanist discourse, I invert the notion of the Cyborg, and consider instead how the body doctors and influences technology itself. Specifically, my current work is concerned with how identity construction is shaped online and in the real world, i.e. how is the way we edit our real bodies through bodymod, cosmetic surgery, hair, etc, related to the way we edit our online bodies via avatars and social networking user profiles – the kind of user profile pictures we choose, the kind of info we will disclose or omit. All of this information is very telling as to how we perceive ourselves and how we wish others to view us.
My next creative project is… I’m really excited at the moment because I just found out last week that I’ve been chosen for a studio-residency at The Rocks, as part of their pop-up programhttp://therockspopup.tumblr.com
I’m looking forward to using this space as a site for making more work for my end of degree exhibition, which will be in May of this year (in a secret pop-up location as well).
For this work I will undertake investigations through a series of multi-media work, I plan to set up a series of temporary constructed spaces. Inspired by the work of Anne Hardy, I aim to present a series of ‘documented’ photographs of people within social networking ‘habitats’ that are reverse translations from online to real-world sites.
The residency starts next week and there are open studios every Sunday, so I hope anyone who’s interested in the work will come by for a cup of tea.
What’s flavouring my art right now… Ariel, size 11, 1.5 spacing, social networking, Actor-Network theory and Post-post-post-post-post-post-modernism
What I like right now… Beautiful modified people of the Inner West, insightful and unconventional street art especially that of Will Coles, Google+, riding my new bike and lots of Diet Coke
Favourite website… http://feministing.com
Favourite watering hole… Oh too many, I like Corridor and the Courthouse on a weekday when it’s not too crowded. I like the Town Hall because you’ll always run into someone hilarious and unexpected. I also really like the wonderfully eccentric Friend in Hand in Glebe.
Favourite Marrickville secret… It’s not really a secret, but I do really love The Bower in the Addison Road Centre. I think it keeps a lot of Inner West artists from not having spaces furnished entirely out of milk crates (not that there’s anything wrong with that haha)
This is a transcript of the presentation I originally gave at the NIEA Experimental Arts conference at UNSW, and then re-presented at the Scandal in Culture Conference in Wrocław, Poland. There will soon be a peer reviewed journal of the conference published, in which I’ve contributed a full article.
The definition of what constitutes as a body has long been debatable within metaphysics. However, it’s potential for extension with technology for enhancement of human interaction and perception aided by machines is only six decades old if we begin to count from the Macy Conferences on Cybernetics that took place between 1943-1954. The specific reasons and variations for those wishing to engage in these practices are numerous, and however recent, I argue that the acts themselves are derived from and are motivated by ancient body modification rituals. Bloody Machine, my performance piece, specifically appropriates the motif of the human figure physically plugged into the machine. This is a common trope amongst contemporary sci-fi and has been made famous by films and comics such as Masamune Shirow’s Ghost in the Shell franchise and The Matrix. The outcomes of technological addition to the body in such texts almost always renders the wearer ‘superior’ to that of a normal human being, the conclusions being that machines are stronger then humans and their union benefits both parties. However in Bloody Machine, I wished to subvert these assumptions and perhaps highlight their ultimate vulnerability. (Continue…)