What does love look like in a post-human world?
View of the Coral Castle, Homestead, FL PROPOSAL Gionta & Grodin’s previous work investigates the potential of the techno-popular: widely accessible platforms such as The Sims, Second Life, as well as (AR) augmented reality.
I. Previously with Foreign Objekt
In 2020 Gionta & Grodin started a research project based on the origins and evolution of the female cyborg. Situating the research beginning with Fritz Lang’s film “Metropolis”, they utilized a text by Francesa Myman titled “The ‘Nature’ of the Female Cyborg: Evidence of Will in the Mechanical Woman”. This culminated in a presentation to Foreign Objekt based on the workshop subject “Faking it: Worldbuilding and the Body in Alternative Fiction''. They synthesized this research and created a ‘portal’ in the form of an immersive installation at Oolite Arts in Miami Beach, Florida for the group exhibition “Idioms & Taxonomies”, as well as an online screening of a video work called Hybrid_Enviroscape_Portal_0IN. These works explored Gionta & Grodin’s interest in the breakdown of the physical, creating a hypnotic dissipated space, seemingly from another dimension.
II. LOVE is in the air
Similarly, Gionta & Grodin would like to use this residency as a jumping-off point starting with research, then leading to a collaborative artwork. Here they ask and explore what LOVE could/would/should look like in a posthuman world.
In the past, Gionta & Grodin would meet for dinner, and instead of discussing art, they would compare and contrast the complexities of LOVE, both IRL and via the internet. Gionta experimented both professionally and personally within interactive platforms such as The Sims and Second Life. She utilized her background in psychology to explore various alter-egos (through several avatars of herself) interacting with both human and programmed love interests. Grodin, who has a technical background in architecture, would fumble through several dating apps looking for partnership, often finding herself toying with the algorithms and indulging in long distance ‘relationships’. Meanwhile, she would reflexively seek solace in her HYBRIDS, a series of 3D digital avatars, as well as designed queer post-climate change AR landscapes.
Through their exchange of experiences, they realized that technology facilitates relating - however, within different world/s. Their conclusion was that these worlds were real, not merely simulations. This is because the brain knows no difference between faith and reality.1
As per their previous work, they also propose to begin with an historical example. In this case study:the Coral Castle:
“The structure was built by one man, Edward Leedskalnin. From 1923 to 1951, [Leedskalnin] single-handedly and secretly carved over 1,100 tons of coral rock, and his unknown process has created one of the world’s most mysterious accomplishments…To this day, no one knows how Ed created the Coral Castle. Built under the cover of night and in secret, at a time when there were no modern construction conveniences, Ed would only say that he knew ‘the secret of the pyramids’.”
The inspiration for Leedskalnin was love. He was engaged to be married and only one day prior to the wedding, his fiancé canceled the ceremony. He spent the next 28 years building the Castle as a tribute to his lost love. Thus, his emoti3ons fueled the making of a world that used technology aligned with the will to transform stone to castle. This creation was a world unto itself - an augmented reality. Is this an example of the phasing out of narrow human to wide human,thus leading to post-human?2 Or is it ‘human all too human’?
Better stated: can LOVE cultivate the expansion of our (current) collective consciousness from ‘I, Me, Myself’ into a (limitless) ‘We, Us and Ours’ world? 1 Shaman Char to Felice Grodin in a reading, February1, 2022. 2 Wide Humans as defined by David Roden in his text The Disconnection Thesis. i.e. “However, once a feasible precursor has been produced the Wide Human could be poised at the beginning of a disconnection process since the capacity to generate disconnection would be a realized technological power.3 We may be in a position to know which, if any, of the “usual suspects” (Nanotechnology, Biotechnology, Information Technology, Cognitive Science) might bring about a disconnection only when the potential for disconnection is in prospect.” page 12.
Felice Grodin lives and works in Miami Beach, Florida. Grodin received a Bachelor of Architecture from Tulane University (1992) and a Master of Architecture with Distinction from Harvard University (1997). Her work highlights the transformative and unstable state of our ecosystems by utilizing emergent technologies. Many of her projects depict speculative futures that can be experienced in the present. Her goal is to create alternative and equitable narratives. Selected solo exhibitions include “Felice Grodin: Invasive Species” at the Pérez Art Museum Miami (2017-present), “IM/Movable Assets” at the Miami International Airport (2019- 20), and “Mezzbug (Offspring 3.0)” for Special Projects through Untitled Art Fair (2018). Selected group exhibitions include the upcoming “Florida Prize in Contemporary Art” at the Orlando Museum of Art (2022), “Elemental – Terra, Tide & Time” at The Frank Gallery in Pembroke Pines (2022), and “Tension in 3 Dimensions” at the Deering Estate (2019). Grodin is currently an artist-in-residence at the Oolite Arts Studio Residency (2019-22).
AdrienneRose Gionta, aka VJ_ARG_A_LICIOUS, works in performance, film/video, sculpture, drawing, and installation. Her work explores notions of fatness, embodiment, and fulfillment in “real” and online spaces. She examines how body image mediates our access/relationship with pleasure, ambiguating the distinction between notions of utopia and dystopia through subverting and re-appropriating preexisting codes or “carrying on” multidimensional histories driven by the fear of it all disappearing into never existing when everything dies. She summarizes her position within, and as: Pop Culture Consigliere, VJ soothsayer, Rose Whisperer, Digital Ideation Butterfly and Extended Reality Evangelist. Born in Brooklyn, NY. Gionta lives and works in South Florida. She earned an MFA in Time Based Media and Photography from Florida International University, Miami, Florida, and her BFA in Sculpture from the Department of Visual Arts and Art Historyand a BA in Psychology at Florida AtlanticUniversity in Boca Raton, Florida. She was awarded the South Florida Cultural Consortium Fellowship for Visual and Media Artists – one of the largest regional, government-sponsored artists’ grants in the United States; as well as the Art and Architecture Fellow at the Department of Architecture, Florida International University; and the Women in the Visual Arts Scholarship, Florida Atlantic University.