net art, video, performance

Annie Abrahams

Annie Abrahams’s Experiments in Intimacy

Gender Forum. An Internet Journal for Gender Studies

Issue 31 2010
Gender and Performance
Theatre / Dance / Technology

# Detailed Table of Contents
# Editorial (by Guest Editor Anna Furse): Gender and Performance. Theatre/Dance/Technology
# Deirdre Osborne and Mojisola Adebayo: Missing in Action. Fathers Making a Quick Exit in Mojisola Adebayo’s Muhammed Ali and Me
# Katharine E. Low: Risk Taking in Sexual Health Communication and Applied Theatre Practice: What Can Happen?
# Jane Bacon: Sitting / Walking / Practice. Reflections on a Woman’s Creative Process
# Maria Chatzichristodoulou [aka Maria X]: Annie Abrahams’s Experiments in Intimacy
# Anna Furse: Don Juan. Who? / Don Juan.Kdo? From Cyber Space to Theatre Space

The conscious subjectivity and intimacy of Bacon’s piece is counterbalanced by another kind of intimacy in Maria Chatzichristodoulou (AKA Maria X)’s exploration of the work of networked-performance artist Annie Abrahams “Annie Abrahams’s Experiments in Intimacy”. Abrahams’ work is involved in her own telepresence, in cyber-connectivity and its failure. Unpicking the term “intimacy” Maria X suggests that in performance, normal usage as meaning “inward”, “intrinsic” and – by its sexual connotation – “private’ is reversed so that the private may be repositioned as public and thus be ‘invested with political potentiality”. Noting how the one-to-one/spectator-perfomer event has become a subgenre of contemporary Live Art, this article develops a fascinating study of two of Abrahams’ works that expose us to both how visceral and embodied the Internet becomes and also, to how the artist’s concerns do not provide us with technophiliac utopian proposals, but ‘ to the vulnerable beauty of the glitch, and she reminds us that yes, networks fail, as do bodies – human and/or post human’. Woman’s artistic presence in the new “posthuman” landscape is significant and Maria X ‘s pioneering research into cyberperformance has uncovered some fascinating examples. Here, the writer shows how the artist questions the technology of her medium whilst inhabiting it and employing it for her “mundane, almost uneventful performances” that pose questions, amongst other things, about “our aching bodies that are not yet obsolete, and the question of sex post-menopause”. As Maria X concludes “Nothing comforting about that.”
From “Gender and Performance: Theatre/Dance/Technology”, Editorial by Anna Furse, Reader, Goldsmiths, University of London.

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