January 8 – February 12, 2012 Opening reception: Sunday, January 8, 6 to 8pm
Maiken Bent (DK) DIS Magazine w/ Adam Harvey (US) Aleksandra Domanoviĉ (SI) Debo Eilers (US) Daniel Gordon (US) Jan S. Hansen (DK) Michel Journiac (FR) A Kassen (DK) Odires Mlászho (BR) Rosalind Nashashibi (UK) Maria Petschnig (AU) Lilibeth Cuenca Rasmussen (DK) Zevs (FR)
“I only need 2 hours of people a day,” writes Abe in Douglas Coupland’s novel Microserfs. In Coupland’s 1990s account of the digital age, where the screen is the horizon, intimate human contact is considered rare and precious. The characters colloquially use the composite term face time to signify time spent face-to-face, looking directly at one another in physical proximity.
Since the ‘90s, digitization has advanced into the territory of the face-to-face encounter. Now, the term face time is appropriated for its digital equivalent: Apple’s FaceTime app allows computers and handheld electronic devices to bring facial expression into online interaction. The transition to Web 2.0 paradoxically posits that time habitually spent off-screen in the presence of others can be mediated through a screen.
Predigital 20th century philosopher Emmanuel Levinas believed the foundation of ethics and thus the moral principles governing social life was rooted in the face-to-face encounter. It is in the face of the Other, he posited, that we first become aware of others, whom we are compelled to respect and through whom we also constitute our selves. Though the face-to-face encounter may be fundamental, the form of the encounter and the face itself may change.
FaceTime deals with the state of the face today – a face, which we avidly manipulate, perform, display, distort, detect, scan, enhance, blur, veil and avoid. A face that behaves both as object and subject. Most works incorporate the face as a visual paradigm, a platform for broader explorations and new subjectivities. Questions of identity in such a malleable state of the face, and in the presence of online structures, are at the core of many works.
FaceTime was curated by Toke Lykkeberg & Julia Rodrigues for IMO Projects, Copenhagen, where it was first exhibited in fall 2011.
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