1ch HD Video | 1ch HD Sound
CG animation, editing and colour grading by Jake Moore
Creative concept and direction by Jake Moore and Semi Precious
Produced, composed, mixed & sung by Semi Precious
Additional synths & piano by Aviram Barath
Mastered by Nick Powell
Other Life combines an ultra-futuristic, sterile and vacuous aesthetic with undercurrents of homoerotic tension. The song’s yearning mood resonated with me, provoking the construction of a digital environment in which the boundaries of my lived identity become more fluid; a technological utopia with an unstable core.
The viewer is guided into a central chamber that visually references gay bathhouses, cathedrals, and the backrooms of queer venues; sites that share a heightened, otherworldly and ethereal atmosphere. Eight figures lounge across one another in anticipation of a bliss that fails to actualise. Their sensual climb plateaus and descends as their bodies begin to degrade; a metaphor for the perils of hedonism.
The station of his manufacture was once a beacon of male procreative power. Now void, its walls remain lined with the pointed monuments of a forgotten machismo; an authority rendered null. He quests onward through the ethereal channels of this barren fortress. Each sector remains bare, but this sterility provides him comfort.
A pulsating hum rises as two mechanical limbs rotate to face one another. These are the tools of his mass-production — automated and austere phalli whose form appears scorpion-esque. They gracefully bow and then progress through choreographed actions; a courtship display of pumping pistons and fluid motions. Falling in and out of synchronicity, they reserve their intimacies and retreat tip-from-tip. Their union was a fantasy.
In the control room, he meets them. The resistant sheen of their skin is an accurate copy of his, taken from the unremitting blueprint from which they were all constructed. Their haunting movements and prolonged stares insist on total presence. Yet, without phallus, they are unable to perform their body’s one role. They are bionic shells of a hollowed masculinity.
He knows this to be a momentary vessel, Utopia is elsewhere.
Dreams in Ultraviolet is the first part in a trilogy, followed by Beyond the Water’s Edge.
In Beyond the Water’s Edge, a newly synthesised body awakens within an endless ocean; — a reference to the womb, but also a symbol from art history of the unconscious mind. The poreless sheen of his sculpted surface holds a metallic edge; the perfect sterility. Employing computer animation, permits me to construct these fantasies; controlled environments that act as safe spaces in exploring my bodily desires. This is a space in which I hold absolute control over the body; from its wireframe mesh up to the way that the body is lit and framed by the camera.
Removed of phallus, his masculinity falls redundant. He holds no power here. However, the construction of this physically desirable yet sexually incompetent form falls deeper than a subversion of the typical power structures experienced online. Instead, it extends into rooted feelings of inadequacy, an inability to perform the roles that are expected of our bodies.
As he quests onward through the shallow tides, the cleansing waters rise against the flesh. In its search for a fleeting sense of self-acceptance, he awakens once more and the cycle repeats, infinite.
Beyond the Water's Edge is the second part in a trilogy, following Dreams in Ultraviolet.
The Ocean's Breath was Salty
2ch HD video | 1ch HD sound
Documentation credit: The Collection
Referencing video game interplay, the audience embody a user who is able to navigate and manipulate virtual reality; an unstable space that can be moulded depending on its required function. Virtual forces of gravity and resistance become malleable, allowing the user to manoeuvre and shape a digital reconstruction of the real for their own viewing pleasure. However, this promise of interaction is denied to the audience. Instead, the reference to video games as a narrative model becomes a method of reconstructing the lived traumas of the body within a controlled simulation, one that the audience is then guided through.
Interested in the uncanny digital translation of natural forms and textures, the work centres on the interpretation of water. Often converting into a heightened blue and surging in a fantastical manner, it feels familiar, yet is removed of all imperfection. I was interested in exposing the layers of construction of this hyperreal aesthetic, disrupting and unravelling them as a method of disturbing the faith that is held in the facade of the digital screen.
*Dancing Girl Emoji*
V1 - 8ch HD video | 5ch sound
V2 - 1ch HD video | 1ch sound
In collaboration with Jade Annaw as Delta Sorority
Documentation credit - Jules Lister and Jade Annaw
Featuring a male and female in their early twenties, the video performance work alludes to the digital facade constructed through a process of filtering, framing and editing one’s image for social media.
Using the Snapchat facial recognition feature as a trigger, the performers robotically transition between heightened versions of facial gestures, their expressions referencing the gestural extremities of emoticons.
We specifically focused on ideas of a desire for machine perfection. We were interested in capturing humanly, in-between moments which are so often edited out of our online personas - this is what we described as the slippage between the URL and IRL self. We wanted to explore the slippage that might occur through our desire to achieve this perfection. In attempting to achieve something that is above human, the body becomes Other and grotesque.
1ch HD video | silent
Documentation credit: Jules Lister
Liquid States envisions a body that has become liberated of the restrictions of its corporeal state through its extension into digital space.
Malleably extending, multiplying and contorting, I think of the digital body as holding a foetal quality that suggests a regenerative potential - a feeling of floating through space, freely expanding and contracting.
The oozing, siliconised membranes of the digital form are both flesh-like and lab-born, natural and artificial. The iridescent sheen of the surface is reminiscent of that of the utopian cyborg of science-fiction, yet also the overly-stretched skin of a plastic surgery patient. It is this exploration of the fine line between the fantastical and the grotesque that is further interest to me. When considering the potential that technology and digital space can provide the body, I question at what point the body might become polluted, distorting into something Other.
3ch HD video | 1ch sound
Documentation credit: Jules Lister
Led by a metal prosthetic, a modernist symbol of industrial progression, the digital body extends across the screens between different geometric positions. Through this formal, mechanised gesture, the digital body advances towards the utopian ideals of synchronicity and precision that are associated with the machine.