Hello, Meet Z

Writer Hatty Nestor explores a recent project by Auto Italia titled Meet Z, in a philosophical meditation on digital loss, bodies, modern magic and melancholy.
Meet Z materializes a secondary, technological body in which a female instructor named Z guides our real life senses. The piece explores notions of the virtual, meditated through synthesized hyper-real landscapes, devoid of ordered systems of the everyday. Z invites us to engage with the space, where our virtual and physical selves meet to correspond with one another in the present.

Z’s immediacy initiates visceral and sensual engagements. Movements and actions, which are usually subconscious, are made apparent within Z’s suggestion of a future state of self. A noted feature of these interactions is marked in Z’s executions; the trace of her instructions and the tenuous demographic she maps within a participant.

Z seeks to exemplify the hybrid between popular cultural production and our inner negotiations of our subjective self. Scrolling, the surfaces vibrate, and we become implicated in the exercise of movement within this virtual space.
The thread is tightly interwoven by the removed, and groundless histories of ourselves and a dogma of universal human experience embedded within the artwork, which are both frequently contradictory. As a viewer, we gaze upon this utopian world and wonder how we could exist within it.

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In such worlds it is right to declare that the imperative of our time is rooted in the archive of experience as a paradox of intangible cultures. The experience is one of unresolved loss or ‘lost’,a presence which cannot be fully visually represented and cannot be unpacked solely by the visceral engagements of the participant. Meet Z portrays hyper-materialism within a portrait of a highly saturated virtual world, governed by patterning of language. There is a suggestion that the virtual, hyper real landscapes presented in Meet Z are symptomatic of an ever-changing, ever-evolving economic environment in which artists are required to operate.

Commodification is presented and exchanged while states of self-existence are rendered on contemporary online platforms. This poses questions such as: do we consider the Internet as an extension of us? How do we curate loss without representing a new construction of the arbitrary? The dynamic world Z constructs allows us to consider the labor of capital as a materialization of the tangible world, one which allows our temporal experiences to be governed by an idealization of the future — a perspective onto the future; a rendering of transcendence. The parody and application of your future fate is surrendered to you by your active participation.

Meet Z Here

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Meet Z was conceived and directed by: Marleen Boschen, Kate Cooper, Marianne Forrest.
Working in collaboration with: Theo Cook, Pablo Jones-Soler, Michael Oswell, Kieran Startup, James Wreford.
Coding: Drew Miller, Music: Mutant Jukebox, Styling: Francesca Pinna, Makeup: Nora Belovai and Alena D as Z.

Founded in 2007, Auto Italia is an artist led organization based in the UK. Their artistic program has been developed around issues directly affecting creative agency and artists, investigating concepts of self-organization, artistic labor, virtual sites, the Internet and gender. Auto Italia’s projects often manifest as meditations on the synesthetic and online environments and question how artists operate in an ever changing, urban economic climate.