CENTERFOLD, INTIMATE EXHIBITION
In the development of “Centerfold, intimate exhibition” I explore self-portraiture and identity through the translation of a segment of my genome map into binary code. I delve into how A’s, C’s, G’s and T’s can be turned into 0’s and 1’s, researching on the relationship between technology and genetics nowadays, in view of the latest developments in genetic engineering. The installation proposes a parallelism between the computer programming world and the genetic engineering one, since the programmer’s capability of creating a new software and projecting its behavior is comparable to the scientist’s ability to manipulate an identity and decide over its characteristics. Reflecting on and in dialogue with the minimum units of programming – 0’s and 1’s – I find synergies with the minimum units of construction of the individual – DNA sequencing, composed by bases adenine, cytosine, guanine, and thymine (A, C, G and T).
On this piece, I also reflect on the persistent and at times excessive desire to exhibit ourselves that governs us, and on its impact on our identities: digitalization allows us to expose ourselves quickly and effectively. Identity thus gives up control, becoming material for multiplication, reproduction, and manipulation.
On its display, the sequences of 0’s and 1’s that incarnate my utmost intimate self-portrait are screened inside a mirrored structure. The infinite, continuous and accelerated effect of the reflections illustrates the limitlessness of virtual experience and identity digital exhibition, exceeding human dimensions. The intimate exhibition, encapsulated yet inviting, can only be completed by the spectator’s eye. The viewer cannot access the installation with his body: he is forced instead to critically replicate the voyeuristic, anonymous, everyday attitude of viewing the virtual self of another by looking through holes in a wall, arranged at eye level, which will offer a visual of the perpetuation of the exhibitionism and groping of the digitized self.
Surrounding the structure lies a platform, which is tilted with the viewers’ stepping in, allowing new visions every time, creating an allegory on how the eyes of others have an impact on our identity construction. The installation’s movement impacts on a water-filled floor inside the mirrored structure, which results in the elasticity and deformation of the infinitely repeated 0’s and 1’s sequence.
Camouflaged between human eyes is the eye of the machine. A camera directed towards the interior of the mirrored structure secretly watches the spectators’ comings and goings. The constant surveillance, the observing and measuring of our actions and appearances, will be broadcasted live through social media, relocating from the real world to this fictional realm constructed within an exhibition space.