[ISEA2008] Di Ball – I AM SO OFF MyFACE



“Di’s itinerary of personae each have ‘boundary stories to tell – how they came to behere – and roles to play in both virtual and real life. (Her) personae (…)represent various of Di’s subjective and embodied experiences. In short, as Di claims, “all my work is about me and the things I’ve done”. Given this, the personae are not merely masks, but rather biographic renderings emerged from a really ‘out there’ life.
Carroli, Linda (1999) Krystal Clear: catalogue essay

Like a disco ball faceted with multiple mirrors, she reflects aspects of popular culture using an ever-growing series of individual personas, each with a name derived from her own. There’s Krystal Ball the cyber clairvoyant, Fleur Ball the cuntry (sic) & western singer, Meet Ball the online introduction agency madam, and most recently Glo (Gloria) Ball the international traveller and celebrity hunter. (……..)
She has a beady eye for the most exquisitely naff aspects of modern life and an ability to find the user-friendly aspects of French feminist theory. Ball is part Julia Kristeva part Edna Everage She revels in a promiscuous familiarity with lowbrow aspects of the mass media, from new age women’s magazines to television body makeovers.
Morrell, Timothy (2006) Australian Art Collector, p126

The upbeat assessment of my technojourney by others belies the fact that if the question is “how does one negotiate technological developments that contribute to the opening and ossification of borders”, then my answer would be …complicated … like any good relationship.

In 2001, when I began my research for my Doctor in Visual Arts (DiVA) into notions of identity and their potential for mediation through technology, cyberspace was the final frontier; a magical, non-gendered, anarchic potential. I put a couple of avatars online, I attended conferences on virtual everythings, I revelled in the birth of the new romanticism where the word could woo the non gender specific other with rapier like wit. I taught myself HTML and then became a techoevangelist flying to remote areas of Australia passing the digital message to the normal folk. I spoke of cyberperformance; my personas lived both URL (unreal life and IRL in real life). I would use an online diary style website as an IRL/URL interface. I was as immersed as a 540 modem would allow and dreamt of faster things. I was the oldest geek grrl in
the world.

But then the romance floundered for me.

My beautiful clunky online artworks where gazzunked by the flashperts. I hated my home brand avatar in the online worlds and I HAD NOTHING TO WEAR!! I couldn’t even choose a name I liked and riding that scooter thing was impossible.

I had started to ground myself with experiments in technology and my own flesh, running machines over my body, recording the miles I walked through this life. These works did not transmit to a low res 320 x 240.

The world started blogging and online communities seemed to be populated by 12 year olds.

I retreated even further into video.

I now feel like just the oldest grrl in the world; I HAVE LOST MY GEEK!!

I propose an artist’s talk: a journey through my artworks, a tale of woe tentatively entitled “I AM SO OFF MyFACE”

Di Ball (Australia)  Biography

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