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Digital Bodies: Jillian Mayer

Digital Bodies is organized by the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University and curated by Carla Acevedo-Yates and Steven L. Bridges, Assistant Curators. Support for this exhibition is provided by the Alan and Rebecca Ross endowed exhibitions fund and the MSU Broad’s general exhibitions fund.

June 6, 2017–July 2, 2017

About the Exhibition

The film #PostModem is part of a series by Jillian Mayer that play in the digital realm, while incorporating interactive and technological elements to create a nonlinear metanarrative. A comedic sci-fi pop-musical based on the theories of Ray Kurzweil and other futurists, it’s the story of two Miami girls and how they deal with a technological singularity, as told through a series of cinematic tweets. The film made its debut at Locust Projects in Miami in 2013 in an exhibition that satirically explored the concept of a technological singularity: the theoretical moment in time when the boundary between human and machine no longer exists. In her work, Mayer also explores issues of identity, sexuality, and spirituality through a theoretical post-singularity.

Jillian Mayer is an artist that makes work that explores how technology affects our identities, lives, and experiences. Through videos, online experiences, photography, telephone numbers, performance, sculpture, and installation, her work investigates the tension between physical and digital iterations of identity and existence. Her video works and performances have been exhibited at galleries and museums internationally, including MoMA PS1, New York; MoCA:NoMi, Miami; the Baltimore Art Museum; the Bass Museum, Miami; the Contemporary Museum of Montreal, as part of the Montreal Biennial; and the Guggenheim Museum. Her work has also been featured at film festivals such as Sundance, SXSW, and the New York Film Festival.

Mayer is a recipient of numerous fellowships, including the Creative Capital Fellowship (2015), the South Florida Cultural Consortium’s Visual/Media Artists Fellowship (2011 and 2014,) and the Cintas Foundation Fellowship (2012). She was a fellow at the Sundance New Frontiers Lab Program in 2014, a recipient of a Harpo Grant, and a recipient of the Zentrum Paul Klee Fellowship in Bern, Switzerland in 2013. In 2012, she was named one of the “25 New Faces of Independent Film” by Filmmaker Magazine.

Digital Bodies

In a time of embedded lives and networked culture, where the screen acts as a mediator between the self and perceived reality, technology has ostensibly become an extension of the body, changing our relationship to space, ourselves, and others. Digital Bodies is a one-year program that features videos by artists who use and manipulate digital technologies—mainly computer-generated images, signs, and systems sourced from digital platforms—to reflect on how these technologies have impacted our everyday lives and changed the ways we relate to the world. Given our current state of constant digital expansion and acceleration, these works express the pervasiveness and indispensability of digital culture in shaping our daily interactions.

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