"I rely on my art, on using the Virtual as an artistic medium to not only establish possible physical-virtual connections through perceivable avatars, but also to understand the current state of technologies; their potential and power, and also limitations."
Since the existence of cyberspace, the physical body has been declared obsolete, dead, replaced and replaceable by technology and machines. Collectively, there is an obsession with the redefinition of the self as well as an anxiety about body boundaries, consciousness, subjectivity and identity. We are facing a new experience of corporeality and subjectivity, a new artificial flesh and materiality. We are scared of losing our physicality yet we are craving unification and identification with our digital selves.
It seems to me that technology and machines did not yet cause a complete loss of physicality, instead we keep our physical bodies as the key and primary interface for all virtual experiences. Our body has become a communication interface between both realities, allowing us to incorporate the Virtual and create a dialogue with it. So rather than our physical body disappearing, in cyberspace the contemporary self-body incorporates the virtual and transforms it into another kind of body that exists simultaneously in multiple realities. Identity is polyphonic and the computer becomes what Sherry Turkle defines as “intimate machines.”
I rely on my art, on using the Virtual as an artistic medium to not only establish possible physical-virtual connections through perceivable avatars, but also to understand the current state of technologies; their potential and power, and also limitations. I investigate the contemporary self and its synthetic corporeality, and what it is to be able to have control over technologies’ effects on myself. Through explorations involving uncanny and grotesque bodies, I create disturbing and disorienting situations. I embrace digital artefacts and imperfections to create virtual, perceivable self-representations that can be sensed and felt despite their digital nature I believe that it is exactly through these deformations that an awareness of the self as well as of the body is activated, renegotiating the gap between the physical and the virtual, human and machines.
Martina Menegon (Italy, 1988) is an artist working with Interactive and Extended Reality Art. In her works, Martina creates intimate and complex assemblages of physical and virtual elements that explore the contemporary self and its synthetic corporeality. She experiments with the uncanny and the grotesque, the self and the body and the dialogue between the physical and the virtual realities, to create disorienting experiences that become perceivable despite their virtual nature. Martina is a University Assistant and Lecturer at the department of Transmedia Art at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna, where she teaches “Digital Design and Virtuality”. She is also teaching multimedia tools for interactive arts at the IUAV University in Venice (MA Digital Exhibit, BA Multimedia Arts) together with Klaus Obermaier and Stefano D’Alessio. In 2019 she co-directed :afk with Shahab Nedaei and curated a series of XR Art exhibitions in Vienna.
She is currently Head of Extended Reality and Curator at the “Area for Virtual Art” a platform for immersive experiences and get-togethers founded by sound:frame and Pausanio. She is also part of the curatorial team of the new media art festival of Vienna “CIVA Festival.
Martina Menegon currently lives and works in Vienna, Austria.
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