[-empyre-] [–empyre–] Refiguring the Future, Week 3: Hackability of the body

Lola Martinez lola.martinez at eyebeam.org
Tue Mar 19 01:28:10 AEDT 2019

Last week’s reflections on accessibility offered insights from
creative utilizations of digital platforms to perspectives on
world-building. Following these insights, we continue onto week 3 with
conversation on Refiguring the Future’s exploration of the bodies
entanglements with technology.

Technoscientific biases categorize individuals according to markers
such as race, gender, sexuality, and citizenship, and in turn
undermine how we live and navigate our present and future worlds.
These discourses attempt to remove agency from the body—either
accidentally, as an insignificant detail, or intentionally, as a shell
to be surpassed. Yet how can we lay claim to the position of a
diversity of bodies as indispensable? Can alternative conceptions of
science, from biology to ecology, be expanded to offer ways in living
differently in relation to land, self, and other? Would these
alternative systems or methodologies challenge the structural
injustices embedded in technology? Ultimately, we aim to host
dialogues that engage with the messiness and hackability of the body
as an essential substrate of culture.

I’m honored to be joined by Lee Blalock, whose work is on view as part
of the exhibition at 205 Hudson Gallery, Kathy High and Camilla Mørk
Røstvik, both who are a part of the REFRESH collective.

Lee Blalock is a Chicago-based artist and educator who presents
alternative and hyphenated states of being through technology-mediated
processes. Inspired by science fiction, futurism, and technology, her
work is an exercise in body modification by way of amplified behavior
or "change-of-state." Blalock also works under the moniker L[3]^2,
whose most recent live work embraces noise and fissure as a natural
state of being for bodies living in the information age. Superimposing
custom module-based "Instr/augment" systems (what the artist calls
“sy5z3ns”) onto performers, L[3]^2 creates conditions for meditation
through generative and repetitive behavior. Blalock is an Assistant
Professor in the Art and Technology Studies Department at the School
of the Art Institute of Chicago. She holds an MFA from the School of
the Art Institute of Chicago and a BS from Spelman College, Atlanta.

Kathy High is an interdisciplinary artist working in the areas of
technology, science, speculative fiction and art. She produces videos
and installations posing queer and feminist inquiries into areas of
medicine/bio-science, and animal/interspecies collaborations. She
hosts bio/ecology+art workshops and is creating an urban nature center
in North Troy (NATURE Lab) with media organization The Sanctuary for
Independent Media. High is Professor of Video and New Media in the
Department of Arts, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY. She
teaches documentary and experimental digital video production, history
and theory, as well as biological arts.

Dr. Camilla Mørk Røstvik is Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in the
School of Art History at the University of St Andrews. She works on
the visual culture and institutional power structures of menstruation
from 1970s to the present day.

Lola Martinez | they/them
Eyebeam/REFRESH Curatorial and Engagement Fellow

Visit Refiguring the Future: Exhibition Feb 8 - Mar 31

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