Our Age of Anxiety is, in great part, the result of trying to do today’s job with yesterday’s tools and yesterday’s concepts.
– Marshall McLuhan
XOXOXOLOLOLOL is a project of projects; an exploration into the possibilities of post-internet connection, communication and affection.
It starts with the recognition of the internet as an experiment that we conduct on ourselves, with all of its (commercial, personal, political) ramifications and (cultural, psychological, economic) consequences, and the need for other networks, interfaces, organisms and agential systems that take into account the desires created by our present forms of communication.
Physically, it began as a kind of mail art game: participants received a mouth-shaped stamp along with an inkpad and “instructions” for how to play. The stamps were used in a variety of ways.
O Afeto na Era de Sua Reprodutibilidade Digital
A few months later, the project was reformulated as a two-day workshop for discussing the effects of the internet on the body. After a short presentation about how the internet works and what is behind some of the more popular sites, we talked about how this technology influences our behavior on- and offline.
We then used alginate, silicone rubber and other analog materials to create objects for an (inter)active, presential network. Silicone-cast body parts were by far the most popular objects created, and mouths were by far the most popular body part cast.
Once we had our objects, we performed our network in a town plaza, implicating other objects, humans and animals in our communication rituals.
When invited to show the project, XOXOXOLOLOLOL became an exhibition inside an exhibition. In order to make visible the idea of a distributed affection network, I invited everyone who had been a part of the project so far to contribute to the installation.
It ended up becoming a space that explored the way we transfer, translate and transform “things” (objects, ideas, feelings) over networks, and in the process blur the distinctions and relationships between actor/network, node/link, object/subject.
The exhibition was made up of a couple of video and photography pieces, some of the objects from the workshop and the original mail art game, as well as documentation for the process.
This would not have been possible without the participation of some very special people. From the people who received stamps in the mail, to the people who participated in the workshop, interacted with us in the plaza, contributed to the installation, travelled with stamps, helped produce videos, gave advice, documented…
Huge thanks to:
Amanda, Amanda, Ana Paula, Anne Katherin, Belén, Cybelle, Gersey, Graziele, Gustavo, Igor, Ivan, Jason, José, Josy, Júlia, Lizzy, Marina, Natalia, Paloma, Paula, Ricardo, Rita, Salima, Shikha, Vinícius, Vitor.