Wired Body/Mediated body
curated by Nina Czegledy

Saturday, November 11, 2000
7 pm (Part 1) and 8:30 pm (Part 2)
Goethe Institut 163 King St. West
(at University Ave.)
Toronto, Canada
(416) 593-5257

This selection focuses both on historical and contemporary international examples of work dealing with the postmodern notions of the human body. It explores the interface between the applications and implications of new digital and enhanced imaging technologies in the medical science and the reflection upon their meaning in the arts and popular culture. This program is thematically linked to the Digitized Bodies Virtual Spectacles multi-site multi-component project.Wired Body/Mediated Body addresses a series of unresolved issues surrounding body politics, objectification of the individual, bodily ethics and the discourses around certain clinical and experimental technologies which lead to to reinterpretation of the place of the body within today’s society. Nina Czegledy and Doina Popescu, Goethe Institut Toronto

Wired Body/Mediated Body
Program description

Peter Campus
Three Transisitions
1973 4.53

In three short exercises, Campus uses basic techniques of video technology and his own image to create succinct, almost philosophical metaphors for the psychology of the self. In these concise concise performances, he employs video’s inherent properties as a metaphorical vehicle for articulating transformations of internal and external selves, illusion and reality.

Joan Jonas
Vertical Roll
1972 19:38

Vertical Roll is a seminal work. In a startling collusion of form and content, Jonas constructs a theater of female identity by deconstructing representations of the female body and the technology of video. Using an interrupted electronic signal — or “vertical roll” — as a dynamic formal device, she dislocates space, re-framing and fracturing the image. The relentless vertical roll, which repeats throughout the tape, disrupts the image by exposing the medium’s materiality. Using her body as performance object and video as a theatrical construct, Jonas unveils a disjunctive self-portrait. As he performs in front of the camera — masked, wearing a feathered headdress, or costumed as a belly-dancer -her feet, torso, arms and legs appear as disembodied fragments. Subjected to the violence of the vertical roll and the scrutiny of the video mirror, these disjointed images of the body – including a photographic representation of a female nude — are even further abstracted and mediated.

Judith Doyle
The Last Split Second
1998 7:00

“the last split second’ is a provocative portrait of physical trauma based on Toronto artist Andy Patton’s eloquent accounts of surviving a broken back and the requisite medical treatments. The film is a seamless weave of text, voice-over, computer animation and /optical printing. ‘the last split second’ features stunning imagery, perfectly suited to this tale of sensory perception, with medical scans blending into car wrecks. The effect is at once thought-provoking and visceral, a breathtaking document of a terrible event” Barbara Goslawski, TAKE ONE Magazine

Barbara Konopka
Binary Notions
1998 4:00

Konopka chose the familiar layout of the computer screen for the visual interface of her concept. Menus, applications, flickering graphs are interchanged with small windows of body images and fragments. This electronic diary displays constantly splitting frames determined by the aesthetics of computer interface design. Beyond the body parts, political words, linguistics, self-representation of the artist as a cyborg are all appearing and reappearing in this complex, yet poetic video.

Sue C. Rynard
8 Men Called Eugene
1996 12:00

Eight Men Called Eugene is a seductive and witty faux documentary that unravels the work of eight genetic scientists. Dr. Wanda A. Langton takes the viewer on a rapid journey from the field’s quiet origins to its explosive implications in our present technological era – creating an uncomfortable parallel between a eugenic past and the genetic future.

Jennifer Bozick-McCoy
Smaller Rooms
1993 6:00

In Jennifer McCoy’s Smaller Rooms an extended convalescence provokes an exploration into the secret life of the body. An emotional, subjective rumination on the healing process is contrasted with sterile medical imaging sequences. These computer-generated images function as metaphor for a consciousness that maps the body but knows nothing of it.

Bjoern Melhus
No Sunshine
1997 6:15

A short story about new bodies. Two infantile bodies are floating in a cyberspace ball. They are simultaneously connected with two subconscious bodies in the background. The attempt of unification and metamorphosis is interrupted by one part, meanwhile the other part is liberated. A glance over the shoulder means destruction. The sources for the soundtrack are fragments of the childhood voices of early Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder songs.

Piotr Wyrzykoswki
Watch Me
1996 15:15 1.1

My body is the information I identify myself with.
1.10 Information is not only the transmission of constancy but is also avantgarde.
1.10.1 I believe in information.
1.10.2 Information is a transformation agent.
1.10.3 Information as the binder of systems.
1.10.4 Information as an activity warrant
1.10.5 Information as the accomplishment of eternity.
1.1.1 Information not only maintains life but also determines its new directions

Francesca da Rimini and Josephine Starrs
1996 9:30

White focuses on a womans experience of madness, exploring the language of madness to create a disturbing vision of alienation, psychic extremes and transcendence. A self-reflective text, meditating, fantasising, exorcising, all from the space of a stark white room, confining and vast. The fragmented psychotic narrative consists of three overlapping voices, English, Spanish and Italian, alluding to the relationship between language, power and incarceration.

Natalia Borisova
Infinity Evil
1996 3:30

The person examines his own body with the help of the camera. The camera with the help of the person examines itself. Two bodies -phisically (the person between the camera and the screen) and technically (the space between the camera and the screen) , in parallel, face to face, are living on the screen. The person in this case is taken as a unique physical object, having a need for self-examination. The camera as a unique means to fix the subject of examination in movement, acts simultaneously with the object while it produces sounds. Both bodies have rich experience as experimental objects of art, to be looked upon as interesting, while at the same time remaining somewhat mundane.

Chantelle Tucker
1996 10:00

An exploration of the mental languages experienced by those who suffer from clinical depression.

Diane Nerwen
Under the Skin Game
1996 17:00

A haunting documentary about governmental policy development and use of Norplant for reproductive and social control.

Justine Cooper
1998 5:06

RAPT -one of Cooper’s bestknown and intriguing works- was created using Magnetic Resonance Imaging scans of Justine Cooper’s full body. These scans were used to create an animation and also an installation piece. The body in RAPT quite literally becomes the site of shifting, involving two parallel lines of thinking. Transformation, metamorphosis and loss are explored alongside the conceptual shiftings of time and space, both precipitated and mediated by technology. Ideas of representational space, artificial space and metaphorical space are developed as possible alternatives to sequential time which no longer correlates to bodily states of change.

Nina Czegledy,
October 2000