Leily Khatibi in /digital room/
Note by Guest Juror Dorothy Santos
Khatibi’s use of augmented reality to explore the relationships between the human body, digital and analog technologies as well as our environment presents a multitude of provocations in an exceptional way. Specific to the COVID-19 pandemic, I found the various stages of her work, Static, both relevant and prescient in the way we might start to look at the connections to our bodies and to others. Her play on words, for example the use of “isolation cells” in her written statement, is a clever nod to the slippery nature of language. The work is not only an understanding of what it means to isolate and be contained, it shows us how we might belong to a larger network of human beings and cellular configurations.
Static is an Augmented Reality short film trilogy consisting of one-minute-long entries. This series is based on the dystopian now, as we are infected by a malaise–fixating us on virtual embracement, and staticized within the infosphere.
• Entry I stages the act of social distancing, due to the current crisis, as avatars isolated within their own Cells.
• Entry II depicts a multiplex of dispersed Cells, giving the sense of a separated community.
• Entry III reveals the invisible real by tracing the notion of cells interlinked [data cells] within Cells interlinked [isolation cells].