My paper, titled, No place like now, now like no place presents a number of themes related to my PhD research and ongoing creative research into online identity and community. There are several works I will refer to in this paper:
• A screen projection work titled Swipezone presented at CUBE37 in Frankston in 2006;
• a web based work titled swipe: airports, borders and fences, published in 2007; and
• Facebook fictions, a new work that is currently in development.
These works explore in different ways how alienation affects perceptions of identity. The intention is to present a range of issues related to notions of loss of identity and displacement. There are many cases where the condition of social displacement may occur in terms of social relations. For instance, a change of residence and community can trigger feelings of isolation and lack of security in a previously affirmed sense of self.
Swipe — airports, borders and fences and Swipezone: CUBE 37
The aim of both these projects was to present a range of issues related to notions of loss of identity and displacement. The challenge is how does one articulate such a position without being merely descriptive? Although the images, text and video are largely autobiographical, the themes are directed at experiences that are universally human in nature. Are we all capable of feeling isolated? What are the catalysts for alienation? These are some of the questions at stake in this work.
A quote from Julia Kristeva in Powers of Horror: An Essay on Abjection about the role of the exile resonates for these projects:
AN EXILE WHO ASKS “WHERE?”
The one by whom the abject exists is thus a deject who places (himself), separates (himself), situates (himself), and therefore strays instead of getting his bearings, desiring, belonging, or refusing. Situationist in a sense, and not without laughter — since laughing is a way of placing or displacing abjection. Necessarily dichotomous, somewhat Manichaean, he divides,, excludes, and without, properly speaking, wishing to know his abjections is not at all unaware of them. Often, moreover, he includes himself among them, thus casting within himself the scalpel that carries out his separations.
Tracey Meziane Benson (Australia) Biography
Australian National University
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