Online Blush

September, 2020

An e-Show Investigating:
- What it means to be vulnerable on the Internet
- How artists adopt Internet avatars
- How people engage with cyber-indivuals
- Ways of distorting geography
- How Internet-bodies and speech travel
Contributing Artists
Best in ShowGregory Fawkes
Honorable MentionsMichael Dassle, Ayshia Taskin, Ada Wickens
Selected Artists: Saba Askari, Fran Chambers, Clara CollinsDrew DodgeHale Jones, Noah Kantrowitz, Nicole Kouts, Tessa Krieg, XiangLong Li, Zihan (Iris) Li, João Rocha, Tiger Rocha, Mia Scarpa, Drew Spielvogel, Narong TintamusikNuozhou Wang, Tong Wang, Xheepers
Eetie’s Homily, 2020
Gregory Fawkes
>> Gregory Fawkes currently studies film, animation and video as well as photography. His gelatin silver prints and videos investigate community and ritual.
Kookamunga's Drawing Lesson #1, 2017-18
Michael Dassle
In this action, a Kookamunga assumes the role of art teacher, giving a lesson on self portraiture. Crudely filmed, this early work highlights aspects of public access TV and Youtube tutorials with a Kookamunga flair.
>> Since 2018, my work has only revolved around the Kookamunga project which is rich in various mediums from photography to sculpture and performance. I am interested in ideas about living puppets, who or what is in control, automatons and apply these concepts to the Kookamunga project, which continues to grow
>> Vulnerability can be powerful and allow you to grow spiritually and even imbue humor into a conversation. Kookamunga could be my internet avatar, or digital collaborator or perhaps I am its avatar as it may be unknown as to who made the artwork, Michael Dassle or Michael Dassle as Kookamunga.
Gourmet Nora: Fusilli Doppia Rigatura Pasta with Chili and Onions, 2015
Ayshia Taskin
Gourmet Nora is an anonymous project I started in 2015. Nora is a virtual chef who makes unique recipes and talks very politely. She also likes to use cooking to alleviate stress by bashing onions.
>> As an Intermedia and Interdisciplinary artist, Ayshia uses a varied practice consisting of installation, performative-sculpture, participatory and livestream performance art, moving image, printmaking, and latex-based work to explore the multi-faceted relationship between societal beliefs, mythology, food, and the liminal. She completed her undergraduate degree at The University of Edinburgh and MFA in Contemporary Art Practice at Edinburgh College of Art. Ayshia’s work has been exhibited at local, national and international levels with projects presented in Italy, Greece, England, USA and Scotland.
>> As a Livestream performance artist, I have to accept my vulnerabilities. I will make an ass of myself but it is important for me to submit to these parts of life and practice. I don't look for perfection.
In Dreams, 2020
Ada Wickens
"In Dreams" is a collaborative video exploring fantasies within artificial and constrained space.
>> Ada Wickens is a 19 year old trans artist studying painting and computation at the Rhode Island School of Design. Her work is primarily concerned with the societal, spiritual, and aesthetic impact of technology and digitization.
Rewire My Default, 2020
Drew Dodge
Rewire My Default explores the human capacity for memory and the limits of computer capabilities, romanticizing digital realms and exploring digital intimacy.
>> Drew Dodge is an interdisciplinary artist working in video, sculpture, and painting based in Providence, Rhode Island. He investigates digital intimacy, sexuality, and memory as he combines digital realms with physical objects, exploring the sensitivities of the human body. He obscures communication and studies online sociality by extruding beloved scatological detritus from the bowels of the Internet into the eyes of his audience. His work is rooted in naive internet experiences, childhood desires, cultural production, prank, and the plasticity of genericized consumerism.
Boystown, 2020
Drew Spielvogel
"Boystown" documents a weekend spent exploring and immersing myself in Second Life's gay male subculture.
>> My practice is about making space for personal confession and vulnerability, illustrating and understanding hedonistic pursuit as a means of escape from the mundane, and queering straight-dominated media and pop culture. In my work, I strive to convey the chaos and contradiction inherent to my internal world: giddiness accompanied by unease, desire accompanied by repulsion, and empathy accompanied by a remoteness from the world.
>> Digital exploration is integral to my practice: I journey into worlds I may or may not be familiar with to uncover source material. Anonymous Reddit threads, Google Earth, and Second Life are my current go-tos. In translating and transforming obscure internet source material into paintings, drawings, and videos, my work serves an archival purpose, preserving and finding continual meaning in the fossilized artifacts of digital culture.
Supersuper, 2017
Tiger Rocha
Supersuper is an exploration of how the prefix “super” can be used to bolster any word, exploring the aesthetics of vocabulary.
>> Tiger Rocha’s practice overlaps jewelry and drawing through intuitive making. His subjects partake in mundane activities, playing with situational awkwardness. He blurs imagery to pinpoint color, simplifying original forms.
One Inch Of Time And One Inch Of Gold, 2020
Tong Wang
The text “An Inch of Time For An Inch of Gold” is the first half of a Chinese proverb. It highlights the immaterial essence of time, whose value surpasses that of the most precious material substance in the world.
>> I bring the element of the network resource and daily life onto my videos and digital collages. I deliberately create artworks with low-quality images that blur the boundaries between real and non-real life. My artworks always explore the boundary between reality and non-reality and illustrate what I think and how I consider my relationship with this world.
>> I think the Internet is a twisted world. This is a world independent of the real world and related to the real world. My work was born on the Internet and spread on the Internet. Each work has its own life and story. I played the role of creator and promoter, looking for a stage to show them.
A Complete Collection of Chinese Idioms,2020
XiangLong Li
Chinese Idiom memory has always been a headache for primary school students, because the children's understanding ability is limited, the meaning of the idiom may not be understood, and naturally, the memory becomes more difficult, so how to let the children to remember the idiom, remember firmly, remember? This method can let your child easily remember idioms, happy to learn knowledge.
>> My body of works depicting humorous expression and critical thinking describes the issues of cognitive disparities in culture between China and the West.These works often explore the phenomenon of mistranslation which reflects the interaction between the culture and the translation. I combine various media such as paintings, photographs, collages using Sketch Up or Photoshop application along with internet culture and sub-cultures of youth in the internet in order to project new perspectives on cultures of China and the West in this new age.
void remember();, 2020
Zihan (Iris) Li
This short film was made during my quarantine. Living this digital life, my brain was stimulated by screens at all hours. I found myself more and more forgetful and numb. I lost the sense of time, as well as many feelings. The story happens between digital and physical space. It's a dream from a machine, and a memo written by her humanoid part.
>> Zihan Iris Li is a Beijing-born U.S.-based artist. She just fished her MFA in Digital+Media at Rhode Island School of Design. Having a background in new media art, and living in the contemporary collision zone between digital and physical space, Zihan constantly reflects on the way we use technology and the relationship we have with it. She investigates her anxiety through social communications and her fear of disappearance and senselessness. Her practice imagines possibilities to rethink technology, offering positions beyond complicity or opposition. Through live performance, video and installation, she reveals what happens in cyberspace to the physical world, illuminating our current use of technology by creating absurd scenarios.
>> Cyberspace is like dreams, reflecting our fears and desires. It’s an altered state of consciousness, the extension of one’s mind. Even though we can hide behind the colourful interfaces, we are totally exposed in the public. My avatar is the person I want to become, is the person I never am, and is the person I actually am. It’s my secret and my armour. Like in the dreams, cyber-individuals can travel beyond time and space, and can engage with each other by non-verbal cues. I like to ‘hack’ the space by bringing what’s happening online to the physical space, or giving digital icons physical existence. My internet-body and speech travel in physical space by me performing my internet-self.
Roller Portal!, 2020
Nuozhou Wang
What is it like for a woman working in a factory manufacturing beauty apparatus? She may have never had the chance to use the product she produced but always wonders where and who her products are going to. "Roller Portal!" is a virtual meeting between the consumer and the factory worker and intends to explore the transitional moment when a beauty product is in the passage from a woman to another.
>> My creative practice explores transitional spaces and moments. I am interested in visualizing invisible spaces and merging seemingly unconnected concepts in my works.
Contemplating Love
Hale Jones
>> My name is Hale Jones. I am 20 years old and was born in Providence, RI.
Buy One (part one), 2020
Fran Chambers
>> My current practice of creating comical and satirical videos, revolves around notions of sensuality, desire and consumerism. I am captivated by cultural practices of watching, craving and consuming, reflective of my own obsessions with late night tv and ineluctable advertisements that has been formed and nurtured through the culture industry and the viral addiction that promotes consumerism and leads to overproduction. My work begins to explore notions of the tactility, longing and ownership of objects and also what it means to determine our own wants and desires when that choice is being decided and manipulated through modern media and cultural politics. Forming my own take on reality tv and pop culture symbolisms, this work begins to devise a social critique of current culture and capital that is representative in our behaviours and personal sense of self though a use of humour and notions of the everyday. The compulsion to create tangible objects questions our ideas of what it is that we desire and why we desire it. Objects have their own history and narrative; thus do we simply desire that what we cannot have or do we desire it because it is simultaneously unknown to us and personally representational. Foam, clay and cardboard are used within my work, to constructed phallic, monolithic like sculptures as a visual embodiment of my own desires for amusement and materiality. Devouring these objects within video performance translates the physical into surreal and humorous imagery, allowing me to communicate the sensual touch and longing for an object into something that requires no description or explanation. Projecting how the sensuality of being physically present with an object is represented and how our senses such as touch, taste and sight are exploited to fast track consumerist production. An explicit approach to physical desire dominates my video art exploring the vulgar and embarrassing mess popular culture has turned into and how this is now formative of our identities.
Semiotics of the Barely Legal Spectacle, 2020
Tessa Krieg
With the obligation to master signature TikTok “dance” moves while lip-syncing violent and sexually explicit music, adolescents are subjected to moral bindings by entrepreneurs disguised as harmless musicians and influencers –– the all-powerful hegemony profits off of every n-word mouthed and minor thrusting their hips, while keeping us uninformed, divided, entertained, and thus docile. The new women’s “role in the kitchen” has turned into the nascent TikTok temptress.
>> Obsessive, compulsive and buoyantly mischievous, my trendy performances are meant to elicit discomfort. While camouflaged amongst the millions of other protocol abiding vlogs, I invite the audience to participate in an exercise of self-reflection of their own experience from within the unspoken spectacle.
Reprodução Automática, 2020
João Rocha
Online video viewing platforms use a mechanism called "autoplay" to indicate users more content at the end of what they have been watching so far. This suggestion is calculated by an algorithm from the viewing history and habits assigned to a given individual. Once this data is not available, this same mechanism can lead to unexpected and unpredictable results allowing for a digital dérive ("drift").
>> João Rocha (1991) is a visual artist from São Paulo, Brazil. His investigation deals with everyday life, banality and the things that are discarded, forgotten and lost. His work seeks to register and reinvent the strangeness of the experience with these things through the appropriation and resignification of images and the construction and deconstruction of narratives. Of special interest to him are the on-line dynamics of contemporary digital existence.
Você consegue me ver?, 2020 
Nicole Kouts
Você consegue me ver? (Can you see me?), is a video in screen capture format, which records a video call between two simultaneous images of the same person. The action is continuous, portraying that same apparently identical face that observes something, that creates a dialogue through observation. There is a slight difference in image quality and a delay in time between the two front cameras. A self-portrait based on two times, two spaces, two images, and one person.
>> I like to think about images: creating, recovering, archiving, transforming, questioning, resurrecting. The memory and its multiform narratives, the dogmas of the present and its millenial rituals, the archaeology and the unstable contemporarity of senses. Transits between analog and digital media. The construction of a cyber-nautical identity, in a Latin American megalopolis, granddaughter of greek immigrants and in search of deep dives.
girl smiles for 20 min straight, 2020
Saba Askari
A team of psychologists combined data from 138 studies testing more than 11,000 participants and found that facial expressions have a small impact on feelings. 20 minutes?! Goodbye big sad!
>> Saba Askari is an Iranian-American mixed media artist based in New York City. Her work is informed by a preoccupation with mortality and control in an entropic universe. Traditionally a draftswoman, she has grown her artistic practice to include private performances which aim to record existence by removing daily object(s) and actions from normative cycles of consumption. Detritus, objects, or any other documents generated during these private performances serve as evidence for presence.
>> Web vulnerability is the opposite of anonymity; it’s a radical exposé of the flesh and psyche beneath an avatar; a disturbance to any curated virtual expressions of the self. Traceability enhances vulnerability on the web, as online transgressions can warrant consequences in the physical world. While memories fade with time, the internet never forgets.
Meditate With Me on TV: Take A Nap, 2020
In my TV Show Xheeper's Creepers we're on TV, aired live on Cambridge Community Television, then lightly edited with an eye toward natural glitch maximization and reposted to my YouTube channel, I attempt to huarm my character with capacities to travel via cable live and internet browsing. Designed to be stumbled upon as part of a thumb chase on a remote or a cued up video on YouTube, my character frequently re-greets the viewer. I am keenly and personally aware of the momentary changes in attention so symptomatic of media surfing. My speech reverberates through my internet to that of the re-downloaded CCTV employee's internet, back live into the cable waves then downloaded onto my hard drive. In this transition, glitches in the sound and video make for a digital phenomenon cherished since the creation of accessible video. I play with this in the visual distortion happening from my home-set- a mylar "cave" installation, as the reflection of myself morphs into the distance proximate to me and across the screen. My speech and body are static and dynamic in the flow of channels. I try to harness my inner power and communicate the beauty of life to whomever may be watching. This show is a direct result of COVID, for I was forced to take my show out of the studio and into the bedroom - my most private place of creation. In this way, I invite the viewer to my deepest and most accessible self. I call out invitations for participation, connection and self love, so we can heal in community despite isolation through self love and meditation. Video for me has always been the medium from which I learned how to live- from how I picked up the English language, to how I learned to be American, to how I learn to dream. Video is sacred for mimicry and vice versa. Sometimes I imagine myself close and far away...and fall into a trance...join me...
The World Between the Legs, 2020
Narong Tintamusik
My art are self-portraits. When I was a child, I was sexually taken advantage of. I kept that secret for most of my youth until my early 20's, where I broke the silence. I lived my life thinking I have contracted venereal diseases during my time of silence and the fear of it lingers. I look within and thought about my life past and present when creating image in front of me.
>> Themes of identity, sexuality, memory, and innocence are explored in my works. Naive, yet depraved, figures exist often alone in settings inspired by my love for nature. I grew up being enthralled by National Geographic and Animal Planet and wanting to be a marine biologist. My father often took me out from the city to see the wonderful national parks in the US and beyond including Yosemite, Grand Canyon, and Banff. I even had an orchid garden during middle school when I was living in Thailand. Because of my experiences and fascination with nature, I often use it as a backdrop for my works. I attempt to show the audience what is like to live in a world where childhood was taken away too soon and perversion was unwillingly acquainted.
>> Narong Tintamusik is an artist based in Dallas, TX. He explores themes of identity, sexuality, memory, and innocence. His works are often drawn from experiences with the natural world.
Manifestation Warrior 1
Clara Collins
This was an assignment about identity, but I portray myself through a fantasy alter ego in the digital realm who is much tougher than me and has a battle axe to ward off assholes.
>> My name is Clara and I'm currently studying apparel. Right now my work is in an exploration stage where I'm mainly letting my hands do the talking, though I hope to one day be able to write thesis statement and put a name to exactly what I am trying to convey. It often becomes an expression of self, or a self that I wish to conjure into existence, or one that I am attempting to confront. It is often a caricature of myself, with bright colors and odd angles and kind of on-the-spot decision making.
>> I think our internet presence bleeds into our lives more and more every day. Though, the internet avatar is something created and something communicative and controlled, whereas our physical selves are just kind of thrust into the world and built up from scratch. I think my avatar is a lot more confident than I am, like she could be a centaur who spits acid and not feel corny saying that.
Emojis, 2020
Noah Kantrowitz
Emojis are very cute. The are such good story tellers and the help me communicate. I thank my friends the emojis every day.
>> My name is Noah Kantrowitz and I am a graduate from the Rhode Island School of Design with a BFA in textile design. Working heavily with surface design, silkscreen and knits, my work revolves around themes of competition, science fiction, and storytelling all while interweaving a constant questioning of taste, camp, humor, and queerness.
Machinehead, 2020
Mia Scarpa
>> My work explores the relational distinction between art & craft and the inherent hierarchical value given to the word “Art”, while “craft” holds a different & often lesser connotation. The work is very material-based & I focus on things such as detail-work (in relation to craft), humor, decoration/ornamentation, toys, album covers, cartoons, symbols, treasured objects, memories, connections, home, comfort, and other seemingly unconnected things. I often incorporate unique references in regard to imagery, they range from the specific, to the purposeful, to the literal, to the completely ambiguous. I struggle with the notion that a lot of contemporary art consists of painting that appears like outsider art, but is not. I feel that my work somehow fits into this strange in-between category.