The FHI Experiencing Virtual Worlds Working Group has invited two artists to Duke next week, Micha Cárdenas and Elle Mehrmand. They will be performing "technésexual" at the Visualization Technology Group Interactive Studio in CIEMAS on Monday, January 25, at 6pm and will be speaking on "Erotic Mixed Reality Performance" at 4pm on Wednesday, January 27 in the Nasher Auditorium. Their visit is generously supposed by FHI, ISIS, Women's Studies, and AAHVS. We are very fortunate to be able to bring them here, and hope you can attend one or both of these exciting events!
In technésexual the performers commit playful erotic acts in physical and virtual space simultaneously, using devices to amplify the sound of their heartbeats for the two audiences. An electrocardiogram will be used to monitor the heart rate with an Arduino/Freeduino, playing a recording of the heartbeat at the correct rate using Puredata. DIY biometrics are used to bridge realities with audio, finding ways of exploring the space between realities.
technésexual opens discussion on the multitude of sexualities outside of the restrictive LGBT formulation and homo/hetero categories, which are rooted in binary gender assumptions. The mixing of realities in this project can be seen as paralleling our own experiences mixing genders and sexualities, queering new media. Virtual worlds such as Second Life facilitate the development of new identities, allowing for unimagined relations and relationships. technésexual looks closely at these new relationships, how they affect our everyday lives and horizons of possibility.
More information at transreal.org and bang.calit2.net/wiki/Mixed_Relations
Micha Cárdenas / Azdel Slade is a transgender artist, theorist and trickster. She is a Lecturer in the Visual Arts department at UCSD. She is an Artist/Researcher in the Experimental Game Lab at CRCA and the b.a.n.g. lab at Calit2. Her interests include the interplay of technology, gender, sex and biopolitics. She blogs at Transreal.org. Micha holds an MFA from the University of California San Diego, an MA in Media and Communications with distinction from the European Graduate School and a BS in Computer Science from Florida International University. She has exhibited and performed in Los Angeles, San Diego, Tijuana, New York, San Francisco, Montreal, Egypt, Ecuador, Spain, Dublin and many other places. Micha has received grants from UCIRA, calit2 and Ars Virtua and her work has been written about in publications including Art21, the LA Times, the Associated Press, BBC World, CNN and Rolling Stone Italy.
Elle Mehrmand is a performance/new media artist and musician who uses the body, electronics, sound, video, photography and installation within her work. She is the singer and trombone player of Assembly of Mazes, a music collective who create dark, electronic, middle eastern, rhythmic jazz rock. She is currently an MFA candidate at UCSD, and received her BFA in art photography with a minor in music at CSULB. Elle has received grants from UCIRA, the Russel Foundation and Fine Arts Affiliates, and her work has been reviewed in Art21, the L.A. Times, the networked performance blog, and the OC Weekly. She is a researcher at CRCA and the b.a.n.g. lab at UCSD. Her performances have been shown in Los Angeles, San Fransisco, Long Beach, Reno, San Diego, Tijuana, Montreal, Dublin and Bogotá.