Gaby Cepeda on the Girls Of The Internet Museum

AA: It’s interesting that the GIM evolved from a research project about ephemeral curatorial practice; while GIM has an eternal archive (at least as long as Tumblr exists), many of the works stem from more traditional ephemera. How do you think screen-based works are continuing to shape the ways in which time, place, and the body are encapsulated in art?

GC: I don’t really perceive the Internet as eternal. I don’t know what kind of fate my MySpace account faced or if my GeoCities website will ever be unearthed by projects such as Olia Lialina’s archaeological project. The next generations of Internet users will probably think our early interactions are quaint, asking, “What do you mean by ‘Girls of the Internet’? Who is not on it?” Hopefully they’ll also ask, “What is gender?”

I find that video as a medium has changed and has become a lot more malleable since it began inhabiting the Web. It has expanded the artist-as-performer category, in which the artist performed with their own body; due to the availability of data, artists also began to interact and perform with information. I’m thinking of Hannah Black’s video My Bodies, in which she is performing through text and language. And Shawné Michaelain Holloway in her work performs as a flickering, super-sexual character in an almost physical interaction with browsers.

These sorts of interactions, between actual bodies and digital information, has allowed bodies on video to not only be re-signified, to be added to and edited, but also amalgamate other histories and meanings. Endlessly looping GIFs pose a strange challenge to durational performance: an unachievable infinity of gesturing bodies.

Subverting Mass Media: The Collection of the Girls of the Internet Museum Accentuates Sincerity

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