Do You Want to Quit? Intimacy, Site, Self
“Your words are no longer merely what you have to say—they are your very presence, they’re what manifests you in the virtual world, and how you use them, consequently, tends to shape that world’s perceptions of you in much the same way how you look frames what the real world thinks.”
—Julian Dibbell, My Tiny Life: Crime and Passion in a Virtual World
The University Art Gallery is pleased to present recent works by Morehshin Allahyari, Hannah Quinlan and Rosie Hastings, and Angela Washko. Their respective practices take a critical look into issues of feminist embodiment through technology, the ethics of the archive and preservation, and the Internet as a tenuous site of interaction, research, and discord. During a moment when Net Neutrality in the United States is contested and men in positions of authority are being directly challenged by their victims, access to personal space and its place on the Internet are being addressed through various modes of art production. Orienting one’s body through technology creates a direct relationship between the self and site, an enmeshing that is constructed through both the screen and input of data in its various forms. Since data is information, its potential to be fundamentally feminist is the focus of the exhibition Do You Want to Quit? Intimacy, Site, Self.
Prompted by Arlie R. Hochschild’s definition of “emotional labor,” Do You Want to Quit? accordingly addresses the relationship between the digital network, as an expanse of connection, and the management of the body into a place of inquiry. Allahyari uses the digital environment to visualize an emotional relationship and 3-D printing to ‘re-Figure’ traditional and mythic beings; Quinlan and Hastings immortalize the gay bar in the wake of its slow eradication by gentrification in the United Kingdom; and Washko expands her criticisms of the inherent dangers associated with Men’s Rights Activists and Pick-Up Artist culture through a first-person text-based video game and an interactive video.