‘Melted head connected to the internet’ extends Haig’s interrogation of a visceral body and its relationship to the contemporary media landscape.
A live streaming video of a static silicon sculpture depicts what seems to be a melted human head. An attempt is made to distil the banality and inanity of the internet as well as the web’s seemingly insatiable appetite for the visceral, the bodily and the mutant. Specifically addressed is the way in which the banal and the extreme states of the human body have been conjoined online. Perversely the work is presented as a live video stream, it is a pathetic and absurd attempt to somehow activate and make real the inanimate, dead, static sculpture reanimated by the system of live video streaming distributed over the internet.
‘Melted head connected to the internet’ is a let down, an anticlimax and a disappointment- a failed project within the framework of art and technology. The work never changes, is never updated and has no beginning and no ending. The project has at its heart however a critique of the nature of the web and its relationship to the human body. By placing emphasis on the visceral melted head in a continuous live stream we are forced to consider the banality of the visceral body online. Complete with UStream’s banner ads the video stream is regularly interrupted by various ads for movie trailers and new models of smart TVs, all of which contribute to the sheer everyday banality of what we are viewing.
With its references to schlock horror, the melted head itself and its abject, unclassifiable materiality points to an unknown human face, its identity erased – but also a references a new form of human identity – where violence, horror, abjection and the visceral co-exists with the technological.
Ian Haig currently lives and works in Melbourne, Australia. Recent solo exhibitions and collaborations include: ‘Some Thing’ (West Space, Melbourne, 2013), ‘Workshop of filthy creation’ (Kings, ARI, Melbourne, 2013) and ‘Chronicles of the new human organism’ (Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne, 2011). Works by Haig have also been exhibited in group exhibitions such as: ‘Contemporary Art Ruhr’ (Zollverein, Essen, 2013), ‘Unco’ (Torrence Art Museum, Los Angeles, 2013) and ‘ISEA’ (Verge Gallery, Sydney, 2013). Screenings of Haig’s work have also taken place at Tele Visions (2013) in Sydney and at VideoFormes (2013) a video and digital cultures festival in Clemont-Ferrand, France.