Transiconmorphosis/ 2013

Collaboration with Emilio Vavarella

Local network chat, computers, screens, web-cam, electro-muscle stimulation and custom software.

Transiconmorphosis is the result of a theoretical refection on the development of new ways of technological communication and their socio-political effects on human beings. Modern communication systems are condemning humans to a life without fundamental elements of body language such as smiles and kisses; pushing towards a cold and multi-mediated personal interaction where natural physical expressions are replaced by digital iconic representations. The piece is an interactive installation and performance that explores human interaction and social conditioning in personal relations and communication dynamics.

A conventional chat service, hosted in a computer, is interfaced to a series of electrodes connected to the face of the artist; at the other side of the exhibition space another computer allows a member of the audience to chat with the artist. The system translates the emoji (a visual representation of facial expression) sent by the user in electrical impulses that force the physiognomy of the artist, through a custom electrical muscle stimulation device, to mimic the gesture of each icon. The artist has no option, his/her facial nerves are being shocked with electrical impulses to contract and relax specific areas of the face; the artist's expression is mediated by technology in ways where free will is not longer a component in social relationships; communication of emotions is hegemonized through contemporary technological communication systems.

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