Kjersti Austdal (Prague, Czech Republic): Antiviral Ritual

A bowl of soapy water, a washcloth, antibacterial gel and a candle.

To join the ritual please log in to this zoom meeting address: (https://zoom.us/j/95473836845)
Viewers may also observe the ritual from the live link on the website

  • watch: 29th June2020 at 9pm UTC
  • duration: 15 min

The performance addresses the current pandemic and aworld locked away in quarantine. As a tangible fear lingers in publicplaces and we submit to isolation to protect ourselves, our computers haverisen as the saviour of our minds and jobs. These shimmering portals toeach other’s presence tie the network of our new reality, and thus thehygiene of our computers has become as important as that of our own bodies.This performance is structured as a seance between the participants andtheir computers, where we call upon Siri, the all seeing eye, to ask forguidance in order to protect ourselves from virtual and organic viruses.The viewers are positioned as participants in the ritual, with the artistin the role of high priestess and medium. The participants are asked toprepare some items in advance of the ritual: A candle and lighter, a bowlof warm soapy water, a washcloth and antibacterial gel, and will be askedto perform simple tasks such as washing their hands and computers, andcollectively read aloud from a text.

BIO: Kjersti Austdal is a Norwegian-American artist who works with sculpture and performance. She currently lives in Prague where she is taking a Master degree in Fine Art, researching manifestations of spirituality in the interaction between humans and computers. Austdal has previously exhibited at The Museum of Contemporary Art in Oslo, NOoSphere Arts in New York, and the National Centre for Contemporary Arts in Moscow. ARTIST’S WEBSITE