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In the Ether

Eleanor D. Wilson Museum


In the Ether is a staged rehearsal of possible cyborg realities. Using the performance of identity as a lens to interrogate the ways emergent technologies de-center the body, this interactive exhibit offers participants the opportunity to question the distinction between their actual and virtual selves. Familiar technological devices and behaviors like smartphones, earbuds, selfies, and social media are “hacked,” or repurposed to serve not as prosthesis to, but in the pleasurable confusion of boundaries between reality and virtuality.
The cyborg recognizes the fluidity of these boundaries in which we are constantly producing, reproducing and becoming. Dance artist Erica “EG” Gionfriddo’s navigation of this cyber-playground is rooted in the hacking of their own identity via the relentless labor of confronting personal boundaries and finding the pleasure in the confusion of their internal borders. The piece transposed daily, seemingly pedestrian mediated experiences in order to provoke reflection about how these technologies demand curation and performances from us, and transform our perception of ourselves and reality.
The exhibition featured three installation pieces: “Infinity Loop,” a large wall projection of livestreaming video that delays, loops, and distorts anything in front of it; “Pods,” a participant-performed score provided via audio in wireless earbuds and accompanying borders drawn in colorful light across the floor; and “Selfie-Portraits,” a growing wall of printed photographs of visitors who chose to document their presence in the space by taking selfies on their phones.
• Exhibition Design and Performance: Erica “EG” Gionfriddo
• Music, Media, and Installation: Eliot Gray Fisher

- Eleanor D. Wilson Museum Gallery, Roanoke, VA, June 27–July 7, 2019