How do we position ourselves and our practice in an age where Virtual Technologies are becoming less the optional mediums through which we communicate and more the interfaces through which reality is experienced?

- “Caught up in a mass of abstractions, our attention hypnotised by a host of human-made technologies that only reflect us back to ourselves, it is all too easy for us to forget our carnal inherence in a more-than-human matrix of sensations and sensibilities.”1

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She cannot speak; her tongue is locked in place. Overhead, industrial skies sway fierce orange; a keen fire glistening underneath her skin.

A thick, metallic petrichor suffuses every breath as she languishes, supine on a shimmering expanse of information. Data, pixels, images; the absolute entirety of artefacts that compose the Internet, amalgamate as ghostly bodies that begin to carve shallow grooves into her yielding flesh. The porous ground above her begins to sift quietly around the atoms of her shell.

Warily, the rhizome extends its virtual tendrils across her sight, rendering incomprehensible visions in its stead. Only now, after her body has been dispersed across hollow roots, is her consciousness permitted to sink further into an earth disfigured by the pitiless gaze of a sun she no longer understands.


There is a void, a waterfall. An electric blueness spilling into the abyss like sheets of glass, silky bodies reflecting the glow of eternal summers. Multitudinous realities, and the colours of forgotten souls, pool in the light that is wantonly flung across impossible cliffs.

Suspended in a state that feels like something between dancing and dying2, she measures the passing time against the rhythmic heartbeat of some unseen steel obelisk.


Elizabeth O’Brien [2024]

1. Abram, D. (1996) The Spell of the Sensuous, Perception and Language in a More-Than-Human World. First Vintage Books Edition.
2. Harden-Guest, A. (2001) On the Track of the “S” Word: A Reporter’s Notes. - in Bill Beckley’s: The Sticky Sublime. Allworth Press. (pg 49 - 57)

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