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On the Ball (Dulzaides, Felipe), 2000

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operations enables the vestiges of Modernist avant-garde concepts to be dispersed in the diversity of heterogeneous data spaces. The data helmet that once covered a performer's head is increasingly being replaced by an entire data suit, a ‹second skin› that in the near future may not even be recognizable as such. The symbiosis of human being and data implant has long since started to leave the realms of science fiction and become reality.

My opening question about the reality of the body cannot be distinguished from the body's own mediatedness, be this in the biological sense—as a being that has possibly already been genetically manipulated and was therefore prefabricated on the basis of an imaginary model—or with respect to the external manipulation already possible and demonstrated all too clearly by artificial figures like Michael Jackson, or in regard to the body's performative aspect as an agent coupled to binary codes. The data glove is superfluous; the entire body is becoming a mouse, an interface—yet to deplore this as a loss of subjectivity and morality would not amount to an artistic stance. The new body opens up options and


different identities. In all time-based media and projects, time alone remains a linear process– even if artists are countering the bio-genetical manipulation of the human being by going back to the kind of subjective confrontation with body processes that was extensively conducted in the 1960s. Performances such as that of the Cuban video artist Felipe Dulzaides in «On the Ball» (2000), are symptomatic of the continuing relevance of these low-tech positions. However the body is seen, interpreted, mediatized or deconstructed, it remains at the center of identificatory processes. It is, in other words, in all cases the «given.»


Translation by Tom Morrison