R U Online?: Understanding Intimacy On and Offline
Ages 18 and up
4–25 May 2023
6–8pm EST, Thursdays
Is the internet a person or a place? Are we what we search for? Is social media a panacea or Pandora’s box for loneliness? Inspired by Joanna McNeill's book Lurking, the course “R U Online?” will investigate how social media and the internet muddy our human identities and digital personas. How does social media influence our desire to connect, our ability to organize ourselves in relation to one another, build community, and nurture lasting deep friendships or romances? We will attempt to make sense of our digitized world through group discussions of essays, films, media, and creative exercises like turning our search history into poems. Using our collective imagination, participants will become architects designing a better internet and ways to conduct our digital/physical selves and worlds. If the internet is a person, should it be friendly? If it's a place, is it an oasis or a nuclear wasteland? What if Siri loved us? Participants will have the chance to create a project in the medium of their choice in response to the course material. Together we will compile our findings, discussion, and projects into a "manifesto," i.e. e-book/zine/Tumblr on digital/physical intimacy.
This class will be held in-person at the Abrons Arts Center.
About Kaiuna Odogba
Kaiuna is a Brooklyn-based musician and interdisciplinary artist with an extensive foundation in 2-D studio art, videography, and photography who explores the world via traditional and unconventional video-art practices, sound, textiles and fashion, new media technologies, and artificial intelligence. Under the alias Saint Araignee, Kaiuna deconstructs the erotic as defined by Audre Lorde as a “deep sense of fullness (of which) we can require no less of ourselves.” Their practice flirts with how technology exasperates, suppresses, manipulates, and magnifies these desires, often exploring themes that juxtapose one another: brokenness/connection, the unnatural/natural, and vulnerability/strength. Kaiuna is curious about queer imagination, blackness, the natural world, memory, and all things transcendental. They have showcased work with Montez Press Radio, Creative Code Art, Laboratory Spokane, Made in Media Center NY, and St. Marks Church.
This class is curated in partnership with The School of Making Thinking.