Themes: The notion of “identity,” at once self-expressive and societally repressive, is a concept that indebts us and indentures us. Messy, disharmonious, and—like all of us—ever mutable, self-definition is a malleable tool: a knife capable of both destruction and construction. Learning to wield it skillfully is a crucial task.

Moreover, how do we create artistic frameworks that enable the exploration of individuality within the context of a collective space? How can our polyvocality rewrite the notion of “truth” in nuanced shades of gray? In a world where intelligence is preferentially stored on servers and chips, what information are we failing to access in the hard drives and software of our bodies? When the data we find within is corrupted by personal and historical traumas, what tools can we access for self-exploration and healing? How do we bring what we find there to bear on our work as digital media makers, thinkers, activists, and citizens? If the goal of global synthesis/convergence is futile or undesirable, then what alternatives can we establish in hopes of our collective survival?

Objectives/Framework: Our workshop will set off towards these questions with no hope of arrival. We will generate a social collaboration between participants working towards conflict resolutions between collective and subjective narratives, our histories, and our illusions of the future. Using collaboratively created ritual we will establish an experimental environment for embodied and disembodied media making. The use of digital media presents the potential to simulate a state of disembodiment (elasticity, translation…), allowing for the alteration of participants’ senses, while pushing the boundaries of their perceptual thresholds and understanding of space, selves, and others. Questions of location and displacement, migration and transience, cultural heirlooms, trauma, and personal narratives—both real and imagined—can be brought to bear in creating work which integrates audio and video recording techniques, projection mapping, AR, installation, and performance.

We ask that all participants come ready to speak their own respective truths while empathetically listening to and creating space for the truths of others.