On the edge of voluntary.
The “Loading” spinner, as others have noted(1), represents the decoupling of the stationary, waiting body and the online affect and activation. Once in, the online is a vast landscape that we traverse by clicks and scrolls—seduced into thinking that our journey has a direction and with it a destination. This Space is a place where the glass membrane can be breached, and we can connect with our desired and future forms, and with one another.
But, as we have known for a while, this space of togetherness is colonized and governed by monopolies that further our addictions to exchange of capital, filter us into bubbles of post-truth cultures, and survey our every move for corporate economic benefit (2). The promise of freedom turned us from a community into a network of competitors. Each streaming from our own channels, screaming for attention and connection from isolation.
The pandemic forced us into a physical isolation. What if our experience of distance and proximity between us was not defined by "poor" or "unstable" connection, the glitchy voice, and the blurry face? What if all of our scrolls, the tiniest of motions, were a call for kinship with the person on the other side of the browser window or the person in a building across the street?
The undulations of this time, the stream of breaking news and data flows, made me often feel like I was sinking, but the current crisis also made me realize that the value of transmission is in circulation.
I will try to carry this knowledge with me as we find ourselves on the precipice.
(1) Russel, Legacy. Elsewhere, After the Flood: Glitch Feminism and the Genesis of Glitch Body Politic. (https://rhizome.org/editorial/2013/mar/12/glitch-body-politic/) Mar 12, 2013
(2) This echoes The Public Service Manifesto. (http://bit.ly/psmmanifesto)
On the Edge of Voluntary by Tusia Dabrowska, Scroll Triggered Animation, Choreography: Wanda Gala and Tusia Dabrowska; Dancer: Tusia Dabrowska; Code: Mysterious Marvin, the Robot
Undulations by Tusia Dabrowska, Machine Learning Model trained on 9500 images, grid of 9 animations; Animation Choreography: Wanda Gala and Tusia Dabrowska; Animation Dancers: Wanda Gala and Tusia Dabrowska