How do you experience an exhibition for one and still feel like you are with others? For the physical iteration of Cacophony of Troubled Stories, the artist Melanie Hoff created A Contaminated Language, an installation driven by the traces and marks we make when we browse. Visitors to the on-site installation at A.I.R. Gallery are invited to highlight this website’s text. A Contaminated Language is an accumulation collected over one month—an exercise in making fluid the space between artists in an exhibition, the space between an online and physical exhibition, and the space between viewers of an exhibition visiting a gallery, one by one, during a pandemic. How can the digital facilitate gestural contaminations of movement and ideas while our bodies and their fluids are held so far apart?
Melanie Hoff is a social software artist and educator whose work recodes norms, interfaces, and sex through software, installation, and new choreographies of exchange. They are committed to creating spaces that foreground pleasure and celebration, that model sustainable support systems, and that make it possible for people to learn socially, ambiently, and holistically.
Anna L. Tsing, The Mushroom at the End of the World, 2015↩
Le Guin positions the container, rather than the spear, as the first human tool, following the writings of Elizabeth Fisher. Ursula K. Le Guin, The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction, 1986↩
In “On Non-Scalability,” Tsing establishes that a primary critique of scalable frameworks is of their inability to maintain diversity. Taking that intrinsic flaw into account, we aim to not promote the amplification of a singular feminist framework. Anna L. Tsing, “On Non-Scalability,” 2012↩
In an interview with Jorge Cotte, Wendy Hui Kyong Chun states, “Every form of communication is based on a fundamental leakiness.” These leaks can be seen as moments of possibility. Wendy Chun, “Reimagining Networks,” The New Inquiry, 2020↩
Anna L. Tsing, The Mushroom at the End of the World, 2015; Anna L. Tsing, Roxana Fabius, Patricia M. Hernandez, Mindy Seu, “Big histories are always best told through insistent, if humble, details,” The Scalability Project, A.I.R. Gallery, 2020↩
In Glitch Feminism, Legacy Russell sees the glitch as a catalyst rather than an error, a “correction to the machine.” Legacy Russell, “Digital Dualism And The Glitch Feminism Manifesto,” Cyborgology, 2012↩
Here we are drawing from Judy Wajcman’s definition of interpretive flexibility. Wajcman describes technology’s malleable character, emphasizing that there is nothing inevitable about the way technologies evolve. Users have the power to radically alter technologies’ meanings and deployment. Judy Wajcman, TechnoFeminism p.37↩