When all my friends are online at once
Keynote lecture by Orit Gat for the online series…this is not made of language but energy
Tuesday, November 17, 2020 @ 6pm EST
At the culmination of a year in which most of the world population’s relationship to their digital lives has changed in ways they could have never ever imagined, this talk looks back to digital pasts in order to assert that screen-mediated human communication does not lead to less meaningful exchanges. Thinking along three lines in the history of coming together online: the history of chat, the construction of a self online, and representations of the home on the internet, this talk brings together references from art and popular culture, along with a history of different digital platforms in order to explore digital lives in the past and the weird present. From Nora Ephron’s 1998 romantic comedy You’ve Got Mail to artist Frances Stark’s 2011 work My Best Thing and from MTV’s The Real World to TikTok and to videos by Meriem Bennani and Sondra Perry, these different histories of coming together offer a toolbox for understanding today and possibly a way of dealing with a social landscape that is actually totally new.
Orit Gat is a writer living in London. Her work focuses on the intersection of contemporary art, digital culture, and internet policy, and has appeared in a variety of magazines including art magazines such as frieze, ArtReview, and e-flux, general-interest magazines such as The World Policy Journal, VICE, and AIGA Eye on Design, and literary reviews like the Times Literary Supplement, the LA Review of Books, and The White Review, where she is a contributing editor. Gat is a winner of the Creative Capital/Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant in the short-form writing category in 2015. She is currently working on her first book.
…this is not made of language but energy is a speculative exploration of our present and future through topics including toolmaking, modes of circulation, frameworks, and more broadly, our digital lives. The series is curated by Clara Halpern, AGYU Assistant Curator, in collaboration with Jenifer Papararo, AGYU Director/Curator, and Orit Gat. The series title, “this is not made of language but energy,” is a quote from “Dream 2,” a poem by Eileen Myles. We would like to offer thanks to the artists, writers, and curators who contribute to this program, which is deeply informed by their work. We would also like to thank our partners InterAccess, Toronto, and Rhizome, New York City, for supporting the presentation of sessions in this program. Graphic design by Marta Ryczko.