Love After Materialism at the University of Silesia

steelhearth_napisy

University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland — 10AM July 3, 2015

Video by: Cécile B. Evans, Karilynn Ming Ho, Jaakko Pallasvuo, and Heather Phillipson

As part of the Materiality of Love Conference at the Institute of English Cultures and Literatures in the University of Silesia, Poland, John G. Hampton will be presenting a screening of Love After Materialism.
Love After Materialism is a screening of contemporary video art that arouses contemplation of love, longing, and desire after the virtualization of social relations. Taking a sincere (as opposed to a critical) approach to their work, Cécile B. Evans (Berlin/London), Karilynn Ming Ho (Vancouver), Jaakko Pallasvuo (Helsinki), and Heather Phillipson (London) offer insight into our contemporary capacity for closeness in the absence of physical proximity.

The materialism in Love After Materialism is twofold. First, it is a Marxist understanding of materialism; it is love after the ubiquity of capitalism and the accumulation of goods as a surrogate for emotional capital. Second, it is the physicality of material; it is love after the digitization of social interactions and how the lack of physical contact impacts our capacities for relating to others.

The works in this program provide emotional reflection on how the virtualization and monetization of social interaction has reconfigured our capacities for relating to others, for intimacy, and for love. They are unabashedly lyrical; using rhythm, poetry, song, and pop culture to seduce the viewer into a relationship with the presented subjects/images. They portray digitized, desiring bodies that hover in between the promise of immortality and the threat of obsolescence, creating slippages between sex, language, and consumption. Love After Materialism plays with the distancing effect of social technologies, materializing abstract longings, and virtual sentimentality in intimate interplays between virtualization, sexualization, and commodification in a virtual exchange through emotional economies of desire.

These works portray digitized, desiring bodies that hover in between the promise of immortality and the threat of obsolescence, creating slippages between sex, language, and consumption. Love After Materialism plays with the distancing effect of social technologies, materializing abstract longings, and virtual sentimentality in intimate interplays between virtualization, sexualization, and commodification in a virtual exchange through emotional economies of desire. In an era of new materialism and object-oriented philosophy, where theorists are looking increasingly to the power/agency of things, Love After Materialism re-examines the material consequences of one of the original abstractions. Divorcing the substance of love from the object of a human body, these works ultimately drift into articulations of loss, echoing the familiar love for a subject who is no longer physically present.

This screening will be followed by a short talk by curator John G. Hampton

 

0