Work-in-progress grant
Narkes | webcam | 2004

Narkes is a digital self-portrait made with a webcam; the Greek origin of its title refers to torpor. The Narcissus character in Greek mythology preferred living alone and seeing the world through a stultifying mirror that symbolized staying within himself. The proposal in the project, although still embryonic, is useful precisely because it poses a dichotomy: on the one hand, the artist – via self-portrait – promotes the movement of “self” in building a robotized character of restricted mobility ; a modulated video-genetic body shown objectively, emanating morbidity and coolness, as digitally manipulated. The image is appropriate, fragmented and juxtaposed. Decontextualized, it moves away from the original meaning and makes way for mysterious meanings… On the other hand, Stein wants to broaden the audience experience – the web user, viewer, or browser – by tapping the potential of the digital graphical interface, aiming to enhance its readability, attempting to ensure interactivity and legitimize information in other cognitive contexts. Operating with edge technologies, her concern seems to focus on the primacy of symbolic repertoire of the work and its ability to generate metaphors. Technology here seems to assume importance as auxiliary support in a to subliminal attempt at rapprochement between the intellectual plane and affective value. The pursuit of correspondence between intellect and sentiments confronts us with a “quasi” impossibility, since the anima/animus relationship poses confrontation. The intellect as slippery terrain may be deceit when confronted with values and feelings arising from the world of affects despite reality. If unity is a substance that is configured from within the subject, totality is a myth, a strain between opposites that could ultimately turn chaos into cosmos.

Helga Stein

Guairá (SP), 1975. Lives and works in São Paulo (SP).Multimedia artist, holding a master’s degree from the communication and semiotics program – PUC-SP; specialization in hypermedia design at Universidade Anhembi Morumbi in Sao Paulo; bachelor’s degree in visual arts with major in visual communication – Universidade Federal de Goiás.