tutorial 11.6.15

In light of the chat had with Jonathan last thursday, I am going to try to summarize my work and reflect on the different directions of my current projects. Looking back on the previous tutorial with Keir Williams, he outlined (and I pretty much agreed with him) that my research is generally going on a line about “transformation through material”, working on various series or sub-categories.


(I have never written about this on my blog but seems pointless now to keep it secret)

The first line I would like to write about, started with stealing the identity of a facebook fake profile of a sexy girl named Isabel Travez – which presumably was an internet bot – who added me about an year ago. What I basically did was creating a parody, a similar looking profile and I added some friends “she” added in her short social network life (unfortunately the original account was deleted after several reports in a couple of days), changing my new profile’s name from “Isabel Travez” to “Isabbel Trave” – an italian urban translation of the term “transgender”. Well, to avoid misunderstandings, the whole thing had nothing to do with disdaining or representing a transgender in a bad way, rather it was a banal joke of twisting elements from the original profile and have random chat with people I didn’t know.


I still don’t have any idea of how and why, but my profile caught attention by people from transvestite and trangender facebook communities, people with multiple profiles with the same name, a good amount of fake-looking profiles and 5-6 people from Saudi Arabia (?) – the week after I created that profile Isabbel received about 70-80 friend requests in one single night.

Then I completely forgot about it for a few months until when I noticed that among her suggested friends there were many profiles of people involved in having an online “fictional” identity in many different ways (from rubber masks to cosplay, furry, kigurumi and so on), so I changed her name in “Isabbel Waters” – I guess didn’t want her to be recognisable as transgender –  and started a visual research, sometimes having the chance to chat with people involved in those practises. The concept of an avatar/costumed performance has been since then a nodal point in my research about materials, technologies and online places; so I bought a rubber mask and started uploading content on that profile, playing with hybrids, translating my masked identity on a 3D animated model of it and building a live music performance. That performance, tested on the Interim show we had last March was also about hybrids: I experimented on the transformation of bits of lyrics and sounds from Lee Perry’s song “People Funny Boy” into noisy and obsessive textures, also playing with different “layers” (or “ages”) of technology as I used an old telephone speaker as a microphone, guitar FX pedals and a software (Renoise) to build the live set structure and play random sounds exctracted from a library of samples from that Perry’s dub masterpiece.

That’s pretty much the context and background of the first project line I wanted to reflect about on this tutorial session. The further developments of this will probably blend with a second line about 3D collages made with found objects (.obj files), a research more oriented on “machines” and materials rather than costumed identity, which also blends with what I am doing in music and sound (a third line?). Also, I am not that interested in wearing Isabbel’s identity at the moment.


I told Jonathan about a video I am working on, after collecting several “burnout” videos from youtube (stuff like this) and being interested in creating an animated representation of a DNA chain made of found 3D objects of cars, and I feel definitely excited about starting to work on it. That video might be also the starting point for a series of physical objects, as I have been obsessed with melted plastic materials for a while now (rubber and silicon from my research on masks but also polyester sculptures and found materials, engines or parts of car bodies), and I definitely miss messing up with DMX mixers, lights and smoke machines (I did some work as lighting technician for a while…).

So, doing a series of physical objects would be both a starting point and a final output of my digital research about materials. These technologized materials also connects with my interest in flesh and skin (which I haven’t abandoned); here’s something I forgot to tell Jonathan, at the same time of this “burnout” smoke/DNA chain video, I am making some sketches for a (quickly realizable) series made of google-found tribal tattoos on fake skin sheets (there are some affordable complete kits on ebay) – this might be a solid idea for the summer show.

I will write something more about my research in sound and music in a couple of days, and a few notes about a “secret” project that after one year and a half is getting to be completed…also I still have to write here about some ideas for the research paper…ouch