Transient Self-Portrait : The Data-Self

Mencia, Maria [Artist] (2016) Transient Self-Portrait : The Data-Self. (Website).


YOU ARE PART OF THIS POEM, AS YOU READ THE POEM, THIS POEM READS YOU, IT SPEAKS TO YOU, IT NEEDS TO BE CARESSED, IT NEEDS LIGHT, YOU NEED TO SPEAK TO IT, YOU ARE ITS INK, ITS COLOUR, ITS SURFACE, PLAY WITH IT. Transient Self-Portrait is an interactive piece based on two pivotal sonnets from Spanish literature, Soneto 23: ‘En tanto que de rosa y azucena’ (1522) by Garcilaso de La Vega and Mientras por competir con tu cabello by Luís de Gongora (1582). It consists of three stages: the first one based on Garcilaso’s sonnet, makes reference to the passing of time; the second one connected to Gongora’s notion of the unavoidable death, makes the text disintegrate into the final stage where the portrait becomes programming data, and alludes to the transient nature of the digital/data-self. The participant is invited to explore the work to reveal a fluid portrait -grabbed by the webcam- encapsulated inside the screen, as a medium of textual, generative and sound surfaces. Text and sound are activated by mouse-over actions in stage one, the voice of the reader - by reading aloud - triggers the text in stage two, and mouse click and drag helps to manipulate the image and activate the sound in the third stage. The piece questions many of the notions just highlighted in the essay; the experience of reading; the use of digital grammars (interacting and engaging with the work); while exploring concepts evoked in the sonnets through coding for interactive aesthetics and poetics.

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