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re: Nitty Nora Head Explorer

 
A friend once told me of theories that impressionist painting was developed as a response to photography and its invisible surface - this light-sensitive layer that captures and holds a three-dimensional image without presenting any evidence of its processes to the eye or touch. The spaces of electronic representation, this vanishing computer screen, seem to do much the same, and to be largely modeled on photographic representations. I have been haunting the video arcades in Soho lately to see what level of sophistication of the VR has reached. I am both drawn to and repelled by the seamlessness of the images and the worlds they offer just behind the glass. Is the invisibile surface always seamless?
Jenny Jones recently exhibited "freckle-pop", a data projection of a VR knitting-yarn whose skin was the same smooth, freckled pattern as Jenny's own (not yarn-like in texture at all). She deliberately left breaks and cracks in the strand, hoping to introduce a lack of seamlessness. But the cracks and faults, smoothed by that electronic surface, looked as seductively ONE as ever. What did work as an interruption, however, was the knitted 'cosies' - little specially-made jackets - that covered the computer. She made some for mouses in a cyber-cafe. I don't think this is just a binary irony, bringing the traditional, feminized craft into conjunction with the high-tech, masculinized technology. The ambiguity of my positioning with respect to perspective in these culturally-opposed materials and practices made me laugh with delight and ... recognition?
But where does the space of this pleasure come from? And why was it not there (for me) in "freckle-pop"? How is it that perspective collapses; what is lost (Bracha 1.7)? Is it the conjuncture of the promise of happiness of the knitted jacket, homey and safe, with that of computer technology ("if reclaiming knitting didn't liberate women, maybe the Net will")? Is there a "part-object transferential space" somewhere in the holes in the knitted fabric through which I can glimpse the plastic computer casing?
The regulars in the cyber-caf didn't like the mouse covers.

Nancy Proctor