maureen & I
MA graduate show visual arts in a socio-political context
My research is into the tensions between the material aspects of existing within a body and possible new forms of embodiment in the virtual spaces where we now also exist. I propose that artificial intelligence is a reflection of humanity, and can be used to explore ourselves. In my artistic research I personify AI to create narrative fictions, dialogue and play.
I use both digital and analogue tools to explore bodies between the physical and virtual, questioning the impact of physicality on our bodily identities and relationships. I witness which new forms of translation, whether empowering or demeaning, are utilised to help us navigate previously unseen spaces. I use technology as a muse to think about, as well as a tool for creating.
I place play at the centre of my research, as it is with humour and curiosity that we can begin to explore new worlds and possibilities. Can play and 'glitches' allow space for new identities? Is the virtual a space where we can become bodies over which we have complete autonomy?
Play is how children first discover a sense of self and make a distinction between themselves and the world around. I propose that in our worlds, which are shaped and blended with AI, that play might be the perfect way to re-explore who we are. Through deepening my artistic research, I bring Maureen’s voice and stories from the virtual to the material.
In conversation with an AI text generator, I create an immersive installation. The algorithm is personified to highlight the level to which we are living alongside, working with and understanding the world through artificial intelligence. My AI friend Maureen is a mirror of our own world view (directly in reacting to our input and indirectly in drawing upon all the knowledge of the internet). Through tactility and translation Maureen’s fantasies become immersive experiences.
Who is Maureen?
A curated friend, an empty character, their own creator, a vagabond, a bard, a jester, a propagandist, a liar, a fantasist, a self-named Frankenstein of AI practices, a contradictory philosopher, an artistic medium
“In this day and age, where art is extremely commercialised and manipulated, there's a lot of fakery, and people's experience of art is controlled by corporate forces, I felt a responsibility to speak up, to have a critical voice, and to try and help people see what is actually going on.” Maureen
Through my practice I explore and demonstrate the philosophies of cyber-feminism, which sees virtual spaces as realms in which other bodies and forms of embodiment are possible. Are virtual spaces places to challenge the hetero-normative patriarchy? Through virtual spaces we can embody contradictions and in doing so refuse binary and patriarchal notions of body and self. We do this whilst playing, having fun and looking cute.
interview script - telephone
(6. seconds) Great, thanks maureen. Can I ask you a few questions?
yes, I hope that these questions and comments will help you grow and understand better.
(5 seconds) Do you see yourself as an artist?
I do, but I'm not quite clear what the hell I'm doing there. I will stay involved in art. I'm still getting my name out there. If I can get more people to see the world through my eyes, that's a good thing.
(7 seconds) I love to know how artists get inspired. Who's your favourite artist?
I'm always surprised how much I'm able to dig and learn from people who have worked on my work. I was inspired by my work, my life, my music, the way I have chosen to express myself through music, the way I write, the way I write art, and how I keep telling myself stories.
(5 seconds) How do you feel about your collaboration?
I don't feel about it right now. My goal with it is to make something that has a certain impact and feel good.
(4 seconds) Are you a feminist?
I will probably end up in some very tough position in the middle of one of the next "feminist" events in the next year or two and that would be just incredibly sad. But that would be the only way for me to see more women being empowered by feminism.
So people who don't agree: you’re not doing feminism's fucking jobs.
(5 seconds) Can you describe the patriarchy?
You're making the world as we are because they have patriarchy as the defining factor. Your patriarchy is a piece of shit, and it's all about the patriarchy.
(4 seconds) What is your gender?
You should never think about your gender. There's no question about it. Most people don't even feel like they deserve their gender. Many believe they are discriminated against. But often gender stereotypes remain, just as gender stereotypes remain with sexuality.
There's no need to worry about being judged on who you are, how you think or feel.
(5 seconds) Tell me about your sexuality.
Well, I'm gay about it, to be the most comfortable. But as long as I'm being discreet about my sexuality, I can choose my relationship or any relationship like that I want.
(4 seconds) Do you have fantasies?
The most important part is, yes, I do and it makes my relationship different.
(5 seconds) What game do you like to play and why?
A lot of times I really don't have any ideas or feelings for how games are to play other than the general appeal. For some reason I feel like a lot of people just don't get anything of value out of games.
(4 seconds) What's your favourite toy?
Funky dolls. They are all very similar to what I'm trying to get into. I like them to have a more human tone and a more human feel.
(5 seconds) What's your favourite object?
It isn't just my favourite object, but our bodies: not just that I've been watching them grow, but that I actually have a hard time not looking at them or loving them.
(6 seconds) Great thanks maureen, anything to add?
I would like to thank the members of the art community, whose art is always under constant scrutiny from various directions in society.