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The Excessive Body: The Affects of Sensual Encounters in Cyberspace towards a Radically Embodied Future

Becoming sick has given me a new perspective on cyberspace: I have found computational software and online socialising incredibly enabling but worry this digital space might occlude the biopolitics affecting vulnerable bodies like mine. My solution is to emphasize cyberspace as augmentary to the corporeal body and explore how it facilitates the expansion and dispersion of our bodily boundaries. I bring together new materialism and crip theory to carry out a project that gives agency to the sick body’s excessive mattering, while I also consider the importance of claiming space through subject/identity-based movements which resist the online circulation of hegemonic politics and neoliberal health-based profiteering. I auto-theorise my need to change method in response to my developing illness, and work through my own conflicted position having once rejected the digital render for being a representational copy. Feeling the affects of being a body that resists the limits set against me, I extend this embodied knowledge into cyberspace, and I use this agency as a contribution to the biopolitical ethics of cyberspace. In practice, I emphasise the flux of corporeal bodies and the textural encounters cyberspace can enable. I use computational modelling as a form of world-building; I render out a series of animations, cutting and reassembling these sequences to make a video. My perspective is fictioned through a sensuous structuring, drawing from my fraught embodiment to produce rhythmic variations in intensity. Experimenting with computational software, I accentuate the affects of sound, texture, light and tension; using my traumatic experience of materiality to stage an uncomfortably seductive encounter that moves beyond these binaries.


More about Anna

Anna F Hughes, born 1990 (UK). Anna is a video artist based in London and a current PhD candidate at the Royal College of Art. The practice-led research project entitled: The Excessive Body: The Affects of Sensual Encounters in Cyberspace towards a Radically Embodied Future, is supervised by Melanie Jackson and Tai Shani. Anna received an MA in Sculpture from the RCA in 2014 and a first class honours BA from the University of Reading in Fine Art in 2011. Anna has exhibited internationally and abroad with institutions such as: Outpost, Flat Time House, ICA, Barbican Arts Group, Derby Quad, Hackney Picture House and Art Copenhagen. Anna won the Battersea Park Award for Sculpture in 2013 and was an Artworks Open prizewinner in 2017.