Name: Faith Holland
Astrological sign: Aquarius
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How long have you been showing artwork on the internet?
Probably since late 90s/early 2000s LiveJournal, back in the days of scans and amateur Photoshopping.
What about exhibiting online interests you?
I've always been really engaged with the communities that form around sharing art online. Well before likes and centralized social media, there were many forums for getting commentary about your work. I remember I belonged specifically to a photography forum where I would scan and upload all my photos and anxiously await what people would say.
All artists have been asked to contribute two works for this exhibition. How do your works relate to one another? Is there a specific point of entry or reference that inspired these pieces?
These two works are part of a trilogy called WWW³. The three videos all depict different physical models of the internet. The first, RIP Geocities, was inspired by 1990's Hollywood representations of going online, which at the time often looked like psychedelic wormholes (which related back to the early web's connection to 60's counterculture). Screen Flicker is the opposite and is composed of footage cut out of RIP Geocities--a heightened reality of the flat screens and walls of text depicted in films.
Is there a pop culture reference that illustrates or inspires these worlds?
There are many! The two videos borrow entirely from pop culture, a few of the highlights are Hackers, Lawnmower Man, The Net, and the cyberporn Virtual Girl.
In the wake of countless unpleasant realities, do you see escapism and fantasy as critical tools that can allow us to better understand the present?
Sometimes--but sometimes an escape is also just an escape. I value using humor to look at things that are otherwise uncomfortable, but also recognize the value in leaving reality. It can function like a palate cleanser; you can come back and look at things with a clearer head, having been able to step away. My favorite escapism is Busby Berkley sequences; you could perhaps make an argument that there is a political subtext there but it'd better if you didn't.
Leon Battista Alberti theorized that painting should act as a window to the world. Can the screen act as a portal to worlds unknown?
For these works and other pieces about visualizing the internet, the screen is actually a portal to a real world, but one that is so abstracted and dispersed that it's hard to comprehend. Whether it's a tunneling hole or a flat screen (or a tower of CRT TVs playing cat videos or a bath tub full of ethernet cords), none of these models fully encapsulate what the internet is, but rather illuminate different physical and cultural aspects of it.
What are other themes or formats have you been exploring in your work as of late?
I have spent a lot of time thinking about our intimate physical interactions with technology and how that relates to libidinal desires and giving and receiving care. Right now I'm working about a piece that connects fictional depictions of feminine technologies like robots and cyborgs to real life ones like Siri and Alexa, with a special focus on an AI-enabled doll called Hello Barbie.