INTIMACY OPPORTUNITY: A STUDY IN GENEROUS NARCISSISM
“INTIMACY OPPORTUNITY: A STUDY IN GENEROUS NARCISSISM” was an installation and interactive virtual performance that explored the shifting textures of selfhood and intimacy in the virtual age. It was an invitation to experience and discuss these textures and to explore the possibility of a generous narcissism: the reclamation of narcissistic practice as a resistant mode of queer self-making and community formation. The titular intimacy considered is a closeness, a getting-to-know-you that queers the borders between fiction and authenticity, between public and private space. It is an intimacy that develops between the virtual and physical and that exposes the articulate capacity of virtual anonymity, that thrives on the slips of self and other in the data stream of cyberspace.
For three hours, I sat cloistered in a small private room in the upstairs of the gallery and invited my audience to interact with me over Skype from a prepared environment in the basement. Audience members were greeted by a hired secretary (RJ Barnett) and placed onto a waiting list. While waiting, audience members could have a drink and relax in a cozy space furnished comfortably with couches and mood lighting and meant to evoke a chic psychotherapist’s waiting room. Once called, the audience member was asked to remove their shoes and walk down a candlelit velvet runway to enter the black velvet tent in which the experience awaited.