FRONT CRAWL ARTIST'S STATEMENT
This project was created as a performance piece about the preservation of existence/identity in the digital age. It was presented as a single day exhibit shown to one person at a time, where the viewer watches the film and is then physically preserved in a vacuum seal bag while being live streamed to a viewing audience. A clip from the stream can be watched here with the comments from the stream available here. The objective for this piece was to reflect on achieving immortality in the digital age.
The Marchesa Luisa Casati, a prominent member of the European arts community in the early 20th century, was famously quoted for saying "I want to become a living work of art". It is from this that we drew inspiration for this piece. Casati achieved her goal by "seeking out and patronizing the talents of both experienced and novice artists, requiring them to have a daringness of vision, capable of transforming their muse in constantly new ways." (source) The Marchesa was painted numerous times by incredibly prominent painters from many different European art movements. Most of these paintings still exist today and are displayed in top-tier art galleries around the world. As a result, the Marchesa achieved her goal of immortality through art. Even though she has long since passed, her memory still survives through her paintings.
In a period where everyone has a computer and access to the internet we wanted to explore Casati's philosophy through web streaming. Throughout the music video you see our lead character live streaming herself performing various acts of physical preservation (brine solution, mummification, vacuum sealing) all while digitally preserving herself with the stream. Even though the video ends with her death, we wanted to show that the digital clip of her performance would never die, allowing her to achieve the same immortality through art as the Marchesa.
The exhibition element of this project explored the same idea. By livestreaming the sealing of various people over Youtube and recording all the comments posted, we can see the imprint a stream leaves.
Credits for this project can be seen at the end of the film.
Exhibition credit: Jonah Haber, Aidan Tanner, Shane Gordon, Mackenzie Munro, Ambur Presta, Jackson Peters, and Andy Reid