Realizing the Virtual

"The work of art, for those who use it, is an activity of unframing, of rupturing sense, of baroque proliferation or extreme impoverishment which leads to a recreation and a reinvention of the subject itself." -Félix Guattari, "Chaosmosis: An Ethico-Aesthetic Paradigm"

"Like philosophy, art exceeds lived experience by creating an approach to chaotic virtuality." -Tamsin Lorraine, "Irigarary and Deleuze : Experiments in Visceral Philosophy"

My art now is a matter of visualizing aesthetic sensations linked to technological and sexual concepts. It is essentially a mental prosthetic then for both the machinic and the corporal domain.

The function of this prosthetic (art) is to create, by extenuation, different technological-aesthetic percepts. More specifically, my recent computer-robotic assisted paintings are an investigation into the sphere of the pan-sexual under the conditions of what I call "viractuality" (occasions where the virtual and the actual merge) - circumstances which are not quite historically conditioned yet.

To do this, my computer-robotic assisted paintings focus on an interface between the virtual and the actual (the viractual) by putting the classical canvas in confrontation with informatics. But why?

First, I very much like to work with the digital in its predominant visual form, the immaterial abstract information of pixels and I like very much the world wide transportable dimension of the Internet, where the digital data-stream travels at the speed of light - but I also like to see a large-scaled semblance just sitting still on an unchanging canvas so I can silently reflect on it and move within the work in natural light at my leisure with customary unrestrictions to my bodily movements.

Secondly, with the increased augmentation of the self via micro-electronics feasible today, the real may co-exist with the virtual and the organic fuse with the computer-robotic. Consequently, I am interested in a new unbridled sense of artistic viractuality which couples the biological with the technological and the stable canvas with the ephemeral digital. The work's extensive ornate excess attempts to give to us an expansive metaphor for our computational condition - our state of digital-assisted being. In the rising and collapsing of alternative sexual visualizations and unordered revelations seen in the work, the circuits of the mind may find a dexterity exactly congruent with the viractual’s configuration. As such, my viractual computer-robotic assisted paintings strive for a depiction of an anti-essentiality of the body-in-bits which allows no privileged sexual logos, but insists, rather, on a displacement or deferral of meaning. Here images of the flesh are further undone by viral disturbances they cannot contain. This viral-viractual-visual situation creates ribald opportunities for transgressions of conventional erotic limitations. In the work’s pan-sexual rupture, aphrodisiac thought detaches itself from the order and authority of the old signs and topples down into the realm of viractual reverie. This pan-sexual viractual contemplation is certainly the most erudite area of our unconsciousness - as it is the deep down depth from which we beings emerged into our precarious, but glittering, existence.

Joseph Nechvatal

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