Shawné Michaelain Holloway

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Search1_DrillAndPractice.exe_Companion4.1 is part of shawné michaelain holloway’s ongoing Chambers Series (2017–present), which is comprised of performance scores and their partner publications. Inspired in part by Donna Haraway’s book The Companion Species Manifesto: Dogs, People, and Significant Otherness, the project explores the dynamics of BDSM acts and, in particular, puppy play. Puppy play involves one person taking on the role of the pup and another person taking on that of the handler, and acting out a scenario not unlike a human training a pet or a person programming a computer.

.Scheduled(VariableRatio):secondary-conditioned- immediateReinforcement(s)- handler-Search1_DrillAndPractice.exe_Companion4.1 is the fourth of holloway’s companion publications and acts as notes for a training session between a human puppy and her handler. Modeled after a set of architectural plans, it articulates the structure of intimacies inherent in behavioral training. Operative conditioning—which relies on a system of reward and punishment—is visualized throughout a series of questions and diagrams that ask readers to consider how proximity, deprivation, yearning, generosity, and need guide and manipulate our relationships to others. The plans are installed on a plinth placed on the floor of the gallery with the command “KNEEL” installed in vinyl directly before it, prompting the viewer to consent and submit to following holloway’s directive in order receive the pleasurable reward of reading the text.

shawné michaelain holloway uses sound, video, and performance to shape the rhetoric of technology and sexuality into tools for exposing structures of power. She has spoken and exhibited at institutions internationally, including the New Museum, New York; Sorbus Galleria, Helsinki; The Kitchen, New York; the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London; and the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. holloway teaches digital publishing theory and practice in the New Arts Journalism department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her books (- - -), i’d lie if I could even, and no separation were published in 2018 as part of the TOO OFTEN IN THE DARK series, an ode to bondage, refusal, and wild women. holloway is also a sex educator, teaching classes and writing about intersectional approaches to exploring our bodies and our kinks.

In Her Interior

Her Eyes Were As Black As Coal… is a new work by the Australian collective In Her Interior (IHI), comprised of Virginia Barratt and Francesca da Rimini. Originating from a “mother” script that the artists created through experimental constraint-based writing, this installation offers expanded ways to see, so that we may better comprehend the interdependencies of our existence and reflect on what is needed for us to collectively thrive. This mixed media installation features a two-channel video including shots of Australian landscapes juxtaposed with imagery of computer-modeled avatars called Terra, Spore, and Krill. Using IHI’s script, these characters speak to themes of geology and time travel, noting that “All of the human strata will be pressed to the thickness of a single epidermal sheet.” Co-creation is essential to IHI’s practice, not just between Barratt and da Rimini, but also between IHI and others connected ancestrally to the land and materials the artists use. This approach provides a rich basis for experimentation with form and methodology, embracing multiple creative modalities and perspectives, and creating an open system of doing-with-others that prioritizes support and survival. IHI believes this is the most appropriate way to pursue a creative life in times of precarity, and is concerned with cultivating creative practices that disrupt capitalism’s commodification of the artist. Her Eyes Were As Black As Coal… was created in collaboration with Ashley Haywood (alembic ceramicist) and Annie Wright (hat sculptor) and is supported by the ActNow Theatre’s MakeSpace. This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.

Formed in 2015, IHI co-creates and performs live works of spoken, sung, and recorded text and video within site-specific installation environments. As two of the four cofounders of cyber-feminist group VNS Matrix (est. 1991), da Rimini and Barratt have contributed to critiques of gender and technology for over three decades. In 2016, on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of VNS Matrix’s A Cyberfeminist Manifesto for the 21st Century, the group wrote and performed a new text, titled “A Tender Hex for the Anthropocene,” and curated a special section on affective labor for Runway magazine.