Sylvain Souklaye (Paris, France / Copenhagen, Denmark): automated pain?

  • watch: 27th September 2019 at 11pm UTC
  • duration: 8min

automated pain? “automated pain?” is a quiet performance about the ability to experience and feel digital stimulus and real life pain via the screen as a sensitive filter. With “automated pain?”, Sylvain Souklaye distanced himself from the digital world and people for a week. For eight days, he avoided reading the news, didn’t go on social media. He didn’t talk to anyone. On day nine, he woke up at 6am, skipped his cup of coffee, opened his laptop, went to The Guardian and discovered the “Epstein affair”… “automated pain?” questions the consequences of our masochistic and intimate relationship to smart devices, the digital news cycle and how it can rewrite our emotional mapping. Sylvain Souklaye shares “I wanted to know while re-discovering my connection to the world, if I was still able to feel, to think. Or if I was just an ensemble of automated emotions and automatic reactions. I think I could be automated when I’m locked into digital barbarity because I feel that my pain is a howl smothered click by click.”

BIO: Sylvain Souklaye is a French performance and installation artist. He is obsessed with sampling intimacies about people who don\’t belong to a determinate identity, gender, class, colour or nationality. Sylvain Souklaye performances are a collage of individual memories which are relived for and via the audience. Self-taught, he began performing with vandalism in Lyon, and then intimate happenings, radio experimentation and action poetry. He later developed digital art installations using field recording techniques as a narrative layer while pursuing his writer’s path. Among his best known pieces are la blackline, a 5-year durational radio performance about socio-economic survival and urban absurdity, le déserteur a digital art installation dwelling on the notion of abandonment, TME a docudrama performance exploring self-inflicted amnesia and resilience and MIGRANT MARKET a remake of the slave market updated for the uber economy. Sylvain Souklaye methods characteristically involve intense physical acts as well as the use of unsettling intimacy. ARTIST’S WEBSITE