How can we look more critically at the internet and social media as technologies of body and gender politics within neoliberal capitalism? How may technology be used to shape performances of gender, enable gender play, and transform bodies beyond conventional sensualities, sensitivities, towards new horizons beyond power structures which we are already used to? In what ways can queering tools of the digital and virtual condition create alternative spaces for other potentialities, more radical futures to be possible?
Shu Lea Cheang’s groundbreaking films and media projects span the course of several decades. They crack through the algorithm of the techno-patriarchy-surveillance complex, queering new horizons for liberated bodies and subjectivities. In her landmark project “3x3x6”, Taiwan’s Pavilion at the 58th Vennice Biennale (2019) she created an immersive installation inspired by the Palazzo delle Prigioni, engaging with architectural control and confinement technologies through the histories of people imprisoned because of their sexual, gender, or racial nonconformity. Her pioneering work BRANDON (1988-1999), commissioned by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and recently restored, is a multifaceted net art project based on the story of trans man Brandon Teena, which uses the participatory and nonlinear nature of the virtual environment to probe human sexuality, break down social assumptions about gender roles and illuminate how the internet enables us to inhabit different characters. During the conversation, we will discuss these as well as other key projects spanning a variety of mediums—film, video, installation, web spaces.
The conversation will deepen the reflections on the virtual condition and its spatial aspects in art production at the core of the Beyond Matter project by emphasizing practices of queer and queering virtuality and present-day networked spaces. Can these artistic practices unleash the potentiality of virtual space from being merely an institution of heteronormative capitalism towards re-made spaces of experimentation that gesture towards liberated queer futures?
The event is held in English and moderated by Tallinn Art Hall curator Corina L. Apostol and artist and writer Kristaps Ancāns and streamed online on Zoom: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84137893614