Upstream’s Net Art Update (#47). Featured in the exhibition Echo on our online platform www.upstream.gallery (curated by Jan Robert Leegte).
Today: Martine Neddam, Digital Fleshs & Blood, 1998. Find the work via: https://upstream.gallery/.
Manthos: In what way is the energy of virtual life passed on to real life? Or the other way round?
Mouchette: Virtual life is a form of death. The body must be annihilated completely. Everything organic, biologic has to disappear from the communication: no more voice, no more breath, no more flesh, no more eyes… a perfect and total disembodiement! No wonder you hear so much about suicide on my site. Virtual life is a technologically complex form of suicide. Of course, subsequently, one can be reborn on the net as a new entity, in a form that one would choose and fabricate, as a living being with no teeth, no saliva, no skin, no smile. Instead of that, this being would have pixels, code, text characters. Here is my portrait, my spitting image: all I am is words and pixels put together by means of codes and viewed on a monitor.
Once the suicide is successfully accomplished, real life comes back to haunt virtual life. The teeth and the smile return under the pixels, the kiss resurfaces under the screen. I made a work called Flesh&Blood where the viewer has to come closer and kiss the screen, lick the glass surface of the monitor and try to believe that there is a real living body in front of him/her.
Is the illusion of life successful? Is the glass of the computer monitor cold or warm when you kiss it? My viewers are divided on this question…
Rape, Murder and Suicide are easier when you use a keyboard shortcut in Leonardo Journal, volume 38, June 2005, MIT Press, extract of an interview of Mouchette by Manthos Santorineos