Gržinić, M. (2011). Identity Operated in New Mode: Context and Body/Space/Time. In _Context Providers_, M. Lovejoy, C. Paul, and V. Vesna, eds. Bristol and Chicago: intellect.

Marina Gržinić, philosopher and artist, is a Professor in Post Conceptual Art Practices at the Academy of Fine Arts is Vienna, Institute of Fine Arts, and researcher at the Institute of Philosophy at the ZRC SAZU (Scientific and Research Center of the Slovenian Academy of Science and Art) in Ljubljana. She is a media theorist, art critic, and curator.

“Everything, everywhere, everybody implies a fundamentally misleading situation of ‘fluid identity.’ I would argue it is not identity itself that is fluid but rather the variety of different roles we are forced to perform today” (151).

This flexibility of identity, Grzinic holds, constitutes a flexibility of contexts, which makes artists not “a new proletariat … but into a new precaria” (152) under constant pressure from the information age and “isolated digital creativity” (ibid). This context shapes a decidedly apolitical position, and so we must intervene politically into the digital sphere.

Even on the Internet, “questions of censorship, naming, accessibility, and visibility” (152) swirl. Engaging with the web/archive has two modes: (1) impression, repression, suppression, what the hackers know and do, and (2) storage, accumulation, capitalization, what the archive and the activists do and why, per Derrida (1995), the Internet is both hypermnemic (too much) and hypomnemic (too little).’s life_sharing project is a practice of “derealization,” or the effect of placing the quotidian in terms of “its phantasmic supplement” (155).

The virtual and real worlds both disrupt the notion of identity, if differently. The decentered subject online can have either several user domains (Stone, 1995) or evoke a sort of online multiple personality disorder (Turkle, 1995). This shifting implies capacity, a set of blanks between identities.

“The very notion of self-consciousness implies the subject’s self-decentering, which is far more radical than the opposition between the subject and object” (Žižek 1997: 134-136)” (166).


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Filed under Annotated Bibliographies, Media Arts, Minor Field, Research Fields


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