Another Space: VR Eyeballs and CGI Limbs

Diego Ramirez on Another Space groupshow Dumb Brunette blog 20 July 2017

Speaking of gestures, Emile Zile performed a live reading with a video component on the closing night of Another Space at Testing Grounds. This performance featured the artist standing up and reading from a laptop as he projected his image with enlarged eyes on the wall behind him. Like a Skype video conference, the audience could see Zile’s alien reflection in conversation with an overbearingly utopian background that resembled a Mac desktop stock image. His reading was ironically aligned with a post-4k rhetoric, seemingly welcoming us to a future that already seems dated. As Emile Zile’s performance unraveled, flashbacks of Zile’s past works came to mind: particularly the logo miming in Five Production Company Logos in 3d (2010), where he pantomimed a succession of hyperbolic logos, and his equally idiosyncratic performance OMG_sisyphus (2011-13) – in which he treated a heavy stone like his laptop in a ritual of futile dis-connectivity. The artist’s hands now seemed forced to stay still, carrying the weight of an actual laptop that kept him from gesticulating his words. Suddenly, Emile Zile’s proclamations made me aware of my sore back, strained computer vision and the IRL social anxiety that comes after my ‘sassy’ tweets. Indeed, the bodily effects of banal technologies, like the snapchat filter on Zile’s face, became manifest.