There is no one universalised experience of ‘otherness’, but how might these individual narratives we live come together to inform a complexity of concerns around the body and digital life?
The Gaze is Not Something You Have or Use (It is a relationship entered into)
is an exhibition of work by national and international wāhine artists and writers. Each artist creates work that is embodied, marked by their experiences and offers ways of expressing empathy through self care, repetition, unlearning/learning and humour.
Opening: Wednesday 28 September, 5:30pm - 9pm
Exhibition series featuring work by:
28 September - 14 October 2016
Cyber Nectar took place during 16 September - 10 October, funded by Wellington City Council Public Art Grant and Creative New Zealand.
text by Hana Pera Aoake
Whenever I think about my phone I see it as an extension of my body. I'm constantly aware and chained to my body. I wonder whether I would undergo a cyborgization process that would subvert the power dynamics that imprison my body. I was thinking about the violence of water today and how sharks were trying to eat the fibre optic cables in the ocean connecting us together. The ocean is like the cord that runs from one edge of my room to another plugging my computer in. Google maps erased Palestine off of Google Earth. It's now just 'apparently' part of Israel, rather than being an illegally and aggressively occupied territory. I wonder sometimes if we are all aliens and one day soon the world will implode.
Baba Vanga. The ocean separates us but it also connects us. Islands continue to disappear. Did you know that if global warming continues ice caps in Greenland filled with radioactive waste will be released from an abandoned Cold War era US military camp. What if everything does break. My body erased. The blood of my ancestors who both stole and were stolen from. Erased. Displaced. Alien. I often think about how I came to exist and how the blood that flows through my bones is connected to trauma and to water. Thousands of years ago my ancestors travelled from Taiwan and spread throughout the pacific following the stars.
"Breath is everywhere. There are no edges." Anne Carson*
I hate this sense of competition. It seems impossible to hold anyone accountable without seeming like an asshole or being framed as 'aggressive'. Critical intimacy. Critical understanding. Safe spaces and safe people. Gaslight. Alienate. Aliens. Another alternate dimension. The freeing of the body. The promise of leaving the body through cyberspace. Control over the body. The white gaze that perpetually recolonizes me. Loss. Grief. Do androids dream of electric sheep? For some people it's easy to be hateful online because there's a disconnect between an online projected self and a real person. Emoticons as hieroglyphics. Emoticons as signifiers of emotionality. Coming together rather than tearing each other apart.
*Thank you Autumn Royal ♥