SUBJECT #02 — Sublimity — EPISODE 1
PROLOGUE: Hyper-reality and meta-physical limitations only set by the boundaries of our own imagination, are what helps artist Stine Deja define the sublime, as she in this first episode of SUBJECT #02 invites us on a journey of speculative Internet-futures.
I never really considered myself a businesswoman – but that’s all about to change. By the end of this month I am starting a travel agency. An agency that offers to take you to an extraordinary set of destinations, without you having to move at all.
By Stine Deja
In techno-utopia you can go exactly where you want, without the limitations of your physical body. It is the power of your imagination that will play a central factor on your journey, as the environments you will visit exists as much inside your head as they do inside the machines that mediate and support them. This electronic space will only come to life if you let it.
Technology has become an architect of our intimacy and as we enter cyberspace our bodily flesh is reduced to a digital servomechanism. Cyberspace will be the extended nervous system of your body. Your Internet-flesh is going to be an electronic nomad that travels the slipstreams and gateways of the digital superhighway*.
The digital superhighway is a space for exploration.
Your passport is your password.
You get to be the pilot and take off can happen anywhere in the world, only limited by your access to the Internet.
In preparation for this journey I have been digitizing everyday relics representing my identity. Now these objects are suspended – hyper-real and easily called upon – enabling my transition from the real to the virtual to happen seamlessly. It is no longer a case of leaving the body behind, but instead by translating everyday fixed existence into objects that have shifted I have achieved a deeper nomadic quality, with which I can move.
This is, to me, sublime; this fact that we are able to use our imagination to build new worlds and realities. By working through the overlaps between fiction and non-fiction, the real and the imagined, we have the capacity to comprehend and construct alternate realities out of the very stuff from which the present is made.
According to Daniel Gilbert, professor of psychology at Harvard University, the greatest achievement of the human brain is to imagine objects and things that do not exist in what we understand as the “real world”, Gilbert explains that it is this ability that allows us to think of the future**.
We are illusion-generators waiting to be stimulated, ready to conquer new worlds.
*Arthur Kroker and Michael A. Weinstein, Data Trash, Palgrave Macmillian, New York. (page 160)
** Gilbert, Daniel, 2006: Stumbling on happiness, Harper Perennial, London (page 5)
Stine Deja is an interdisciplinary artist studying an MA at the Royal College of Art in London. Through digital technology Stine explores the construction of oneself in a techno-utopian age. She works with video, sound, and photography using elements of 3D rendered video and performance to explore the complexity of identity.
SUBJECT is an ongoing feature series inviting artists, designers and creative entrepreneurs to share their point of view and interpretation of a given subject. To inspire, open up horizons and start conversations – because more perspectives make a better story. SUBJECT is curated and edited by Sidsel Søgaard Spas.
SUBJECT #02 raises the subject of the sublime. What is sublimity, can it be reached, and how is the notion of this affecting artistic and creative practices? Alter Ego has invited three contributors to interpret and shape the subject to their own opinion. Stine Deja’s contribution is the first perspective presented in this series.