Evelyn Bencicova, Joris Demnard (Ikonospace) and Arielle Esther

Artificial Tears, 2019

VR experience for Oculus Rift

In the VR experience Artificial Tear created in 2019 our focus is on the cultural notion of the male creator, and female machine, the story of submission through innocence, striving for obedience and artificial perfection. Machines in general are not gendered by default. We shape it by setting their behaviour, voice or appearance. It is compelling to observe how many AI voice assistants end up being “female”. Is the notion of being more pleasant or trustworthy equated with sounding more servile just because a “woman" is speaking? Even though these voices perform a certain range of femininity, this range is incredibly narrow. AI assistants are designed to receive orders and execute the action without questioning. They respond to insults with politeness and avoid any verbal conflict, always at their own expanse. Naturally, they are made to be spoken to in an imperative. “She” must always answer, and the answer must delight the asker. The “machine” that no longer serves has lost its purpose, but actually maybe it just found its own. Today more than ever, technology plays a huge part in setting rules, and creating as well as possibly destroying long embedded stereotypes. The main character in Artificial Tears takes on a classical female appearance, one that is based on the stereotype of perfection. It represents the woman designed (by others or herself) to satisfy a general predefined definition of her kind. In the VR experience of Artificial Tears the multi-layered character finally achieves autonomy by discovering her/its own free will and power to act.

 

Duration: 6:05 min.

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ABOUT THE ARTIST

Evelyn Bencicova (b. Bratislava, 1992) is a visual creative specialising in photography and art direction. Informed by her background in fine art and new media studies (University for Applied Arts, Vienna), Evelyn’s practice

combines her interest in contemporary culture with academic research to create a unique aesthetic space in which the conceptual meets the visual.

Collaboration repertoire includes cultural institutions such as Frieze, Royal Opera House, Berghain, Kunsthalle Basel, National Portrait Gallery London and MQ Vienna. Evelyn's work was published in international art books and exhibited in galleries and museums around the world. She also received numerous awards for both photography and art-direction including Hasselblad Masters and Berlin Masters 2020. In 2019 Evelyn completed artistic residency in Mimic Studio which shifted her practice into more immersive and experimental forms of story-telling. Audio-visual work “Next time die consciously” (2018) and “nine sum-sorcery” (2019) were premiered at main stage of Atonal Berlin, MIRA (Barcelona) and Regenerations (Amsterdam). VR installation “Artificial Tears” was exhibited at Berlin Photo Week in Kraftwerk and Synthesis Gallery and Slovak National Gallery. The work has been nominated for Berlin Masters Foundation Award 2020.

If you are interested in exhibiting or viewing this artistic VR experience, please send an email to us.

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