hotel generation proposal
The mirror ball is a recurring motif in my work. It has stood in variously for the irradiating shrapnel of a hellfire missile, a shattered heart, the coronavirus, an exploding planet. But as well as destruction, it can also represent hope. For many queer people, nightlife is a mode of survival. Whether from homophobic and transphobic violence, or the HIV/AIDS crisis of the 1980s and 90s, queer spaces have provided shelter for our community, uniting chosen family under the glow of the disco ball. A nightlife veteran, it looks out with a queer gaze: this is not the seamless 360° perspective of virtual reality or total surveillance, but instead a whirling, kaleidoscopic eye. Its outlook is far-reaching, multitudinous and incongruous like the community dancing below.
If, as Hito Steyerl warns, the utterly immersive and isolating “bubble vision” of virtual reality can be read as analogous to the totalising ideology of capitalist realism, discovision looks beyond the seamless surface and reveals cracks between the frames. 360° video is, after all, made of multiple rectangular frames, “stitched” together algorithmically: the illusion of continuity masks a structure that far better resembles a mirror ball than a bubble. A Brechtian project, discovision seeks “a more exact representation of the real social forces operating under the immediately visible surface”, asserting that dominant ideological realities are anything but a given. Discovision is especially urgent in response to capitalism’s death drive, which, per Elaine Scarry, has “converted the earth’s surface into something shatterable”: a mirror ball of global proportions.
SurvivalGAN: A Queer Information Film
AI-generated video [Excerpt]
Multimedia installation and performance-lecture