AR Filter and Short Film 

Exhibited at ‘Open Space’ The Photographers’ Gallery, London, United Kingdom, July 2022


XRiS-00222 explores the entanglements of the metaverse with the physical space to reflect on how augmented reality (AR) filters can become means of connecting with archived digital identities. This interactive AR filter opens a communication portal between a visitor and a cyberwitch avatar. The audience can explore an intimate story as the cyberwitch reflects on cyborgism, the archive as a sanctuary and spiritual technology.

Audiences will meet Xris, a digital fragmentation of a deceased cyberwitch, who decided that a digital capsule would be a more suitable gravestone for her body. Upon activating the AR filter, participants place a portal in their immediate space and have the opportunity to gradually navigate through the different sections of the cybertomb. Users are invited to listen to her last words, the description of her entanglement with digital technology and her feelings about it.

Entering XRiS - 00222... Open.

// Filter filter in this phone,
Through my touch I place a portal between our worlds.

// Come from the farthest place,

I summon thee. Spirit residing in this digital gravestone.
Let me see thy face.

I came to life as a techno embryo.
fertilised upon when my cells could not live without the touch of glass screens,
mouse clicks, keyboard rhythms.
a long umbilical cord then sprung,
vital for the flow of energy,
and for my devices to continue feeding me.

Let me reside between the face filters, coloured lenses, floating aliens.
adrift in stasis,
I am lost, homeless and somewhat cosmic; where gravity, time nor space govern my body.

the net, perhaps the only place I can call home, for its corners feel so inviting, uncolonised and ready to be haunted...

It was my sanctuary and it remains one. —-—-

What you see is my cells turn into pixels,
my skin decimated, processed and recreated with hollow insides.
no organs, no guts, lungs that need to catch a breath no blood thirsty heart calculating its next pump.

I’m just a coat now,
a floating carcass made into a filter,
a self-made, digital, inflated doll.
is that truly what my body has become in this cybertomb?

No. It cannot be.
I am a fantasy.
a creation that could be made only by my mortal body, a fantastical visualisation
of its inevitable metamorphosis into a cyborg,
I now am also a mirror image of what you visitor,
of what you have and will become.

— - — - —-

Here I lie, till the servers die.
pieces, fragmentations of my once blood pumping body,
now fuelled by clicks and scrolls of mortal flesh and bones.

Welcome and goodbye.
Let this fragment of myself rest in the entanglement I have created for myself.
Thank you for lending me your spirit to relive these times.

Now, what are bodies to digital matter and code?

View on instagram

note: An instagram account is necessary to access the filter.

This is another project in my exploration of how our idea of presence changes with our digital ontophany and the creation of ‘blurred realities’ (Vial, 2019) between the virtual and ‘AFK’ (Russell, 2020). I find VR and AR increasingly more intriguing, with its capacity to manipulate our perceptions of the AFK environment to allow for imaginings and fictionings of the things before us. Denis Baron argues that “virtual reality, is a method whose purpose is to artificially place a human in an environment generated by a computer, [and] can be perceived as a space resisting all form of determinism and revealing a new subjectivity” (Baron, 2009, p.35). It is techno-capitalist determinism that I am trying to resist through CTRL+R to Re-flesh, alongside our perception of what constitutes as flesh.VR and AR has the capacity to change our perception of the objects, spaces and figures that reside within the AFK world and create a ‘third area of experiencing’ (Lewis, 2017), a gap between presence and absence that lies in the in- betweeness of the virtual and the physical realm. The implications and emancipatory qualities of AR worlds and spaces have thus become increasingly interesting to me. I would like to learn more about the systems to then engage in discussion upon how it produces space and relations of production.

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