TECHNOLOGICALLY FABRICATED INTIMACY
In 2019, Stella Sideli has curated five new commissions part of the King’s College London x Somerset House Studios scheme. Studios residents receive support to collaborate with King’s researchers, with each artist-academic partnership creating projects that test ideas and offer new perspectives on contemporary issues.
This new work, part of the scheme, is by Marija Bozinovska Jones’ and Dr Alessandro Gandini’s (King’s College London) and addresses how dating apps influence the forming of technologically-mediated intimate relationships in a project exploring what decentralised organisational models bring to online dating cultures.
As online social relations are mostly reduced to gamified versions of romantic exchanges, a grammar of aesthetical evaluation is applied onto representations of the self and put into play with digital technologies.
The project output is hosted on the platform FABRICATEDINTIMACY.TECH, which was initiated by Marija Bozinovska Jones and designed with Studio Hyte. The website introduces encrypted content and a collection of texts by the authors: Nick Srnicek, Rob Gallagher, Sarah Friend, Feng Zhu, Rachel O’Dwyer, Louis Moreno and Daniel Neofetou. The project likewise investigated new modes of sociality through exploring the sensory beyond visual, through movement, haptics, the olfactory and the audible. The focus group findings held with the Department of Digital Humanities at King's College London were staged as Live Action Role Play (LARP) through forged intimacy and volatile identity constructions developed with invited artist collective Omsk Social Club. The LARP was held in January 2019 at Somerset House Studios, where a group of participants delved into enacted scenarios and explored trust and intimacy as interconnected and formalised concepts, echoing the value system of the fintech industry. Fragments of the role play are embedded in the website.
The work was exhibited in Chronus Art Center in 2020, in the exhibition crypto_manifold, featuring works by artists !Mediengruppe Bitnik, CHEN Baoyang, Simon Denny, Grayson Earle, Sarah Friend, Marija Bozinovska Jones, Paul Kolling & Max Hampshire & Paul Seidler, Matthias Tarasiewicz and Lina Theodorou & Rob Myers.
Marija Bozinovska Jones explores links between social, computational and organic architectures. Her work revolves around technocapitalist amplification, probing selfhood as networked presence on planetary scale. Unpacking cryptic ways of forging subjectivity, she contemplates a myraid of subject interests: intelligence (dis)embodiments, gamification and self-regulation in biological and other complex systems which mimic these.
Marija's recent activities activities include performances commissioned for the opening of Transmediale in Berlin DE and Sonic Acts Academy in Amsterdam NL, Furtherfield/ Serpentine Marathon in London UK, screening at D'EST online and Moscow Museum Of Modern Art in Moscow RU, as well as panel presentations for Moneylab: Tokenizing Culture with the Blockchain and Self Optimization/ Hyper Functional Ultra Healthy at Somerset House in London UK. Marija graduated MA in Computational Arts at Goldsmiths and is a current studio resident artist at Somerset House Studios in London.
Dr Alessandro Gandini is a sociologist and a lecturer working in the Department of Digital Humanities at King’s. His research focuses on the transformations of work and social relations in the digital society. He is the author of The Reputation Economy (Palgrave, 2016), a co-author of Qualitative Research in Digital Environments (with A. Caliandro, Routledge, 2017) and a co-editor of Unboxing The Sharing Economy, part of The Sociological Review Monograph Series (with I. Pais and D. Arcidiacono, Sage, 2018). His research has been published in journals such as Human Relations, Convergence, Marketing Theory and Ephemera. His current research work includes the study of the ‘gig economy’ and the social implications of blockchain technology.
Technologically Fabricated Intimacy – dating apps, gamification and blockchain technologies is a collaboration between King's College London's Department of Digital Humanities and artist Marjia Bozinovska Jones, supported by the university's Culture team in partnership with Somerset House Studios.