Mar Osés (she/they) is an artist-researcher whose work focuses on the problematization of digital technologies in the current on-life context and from a gender perspective. Her most recent projects bring together her interests in the visuality of artificial intelligences, gender performance and the possibilities of biotechnologies within a xenofeminist frame, which have been presented in various exhibitions and events in Spain and Austria. Equipped with a background in Visual Arts and Multimedia and Gender Studies, Mar recently exhibited two projects at this year’s Arse Elektronika.
Bimbo Dildo references Paul B. Preciado’s Countersexual Manifesto (2018) as it explores the idea of dildo from a poliedric perspective: taking into account all its symbolic, artistic, technological and sexo-political possibilities. The project proposes an understanding of the hyperfeminine bimbo gender performance as a penetration strategy (an at-first-sight contradictory comparison due to the strongly masculinized character that has been historically associated with the phallus), in which bimbo subjects have demonstrated they have the power of transforming from within the subjectivity of those who interact with them, functioning as a clear example of body modification.
XXXGel® proposes a speculative narrative around the possibilities of bodies in the pharmacopornographic era, characterised by the political and technical management of the body, sex, and sexuality. In this sexopolitical state, the body is not bounded by a carnal envelope, nor is it pre-discursive: it is a multi-connected technoalive entity that incorporates technology. In the context of these technobodies, it is xenobiotic substances such as Climaxene found in XXXGel® that are capable of corrupting the wetware, transforming and expanding it, understanding us as toxicopornographic subjects: subjectivities defined by the substances that dominate their metabolisms.
Would you like to share a short statement of your practice with us?
Mar Osés: My work is focused around the different ways in which digital technologies break through our subjectivities: How is it (are we) built?
I try to answer this question in both a conceptual and methodological way, while bearing in mind the hybrid condition of our current situation which is a material but also virtual state, as Luciano Floridi has declared: the on-life condition. My current prime focus is on the possibilities offered by the combination of transmedia art and in the field of gender studies and how different substances (specifically synthetic ones) expand the possibilities of the bodies, by experimenting with especulative diy xenosubstances and electronics. I’m also currently focusing on gender performance occurred on social media, highlighting the conversations about online community identity, xenofeminism, hyperfemininity and female stereotype reapropiation in the post-Internet context.
How does your project address these interests or themes?
Mar Osés: Both projects discuss the concept of gender obsolescence within the framework of the pharmacopornographic, anthrobological, and on-life context, and exploration of possible avenues for subversion and transformation of gender binarism at the somatic level through a transdisciplinary approach, combining contemporary artistic research, gender studies, and analysis of digital technological advancements, specifically Artificial Intelligence.
First, the research presents a theoretical contextualization of the downfall of the gender system, focusing specifically on two interconnected phenomena that evidence this process of obsolescence: the advent of a pharmacopornographic and anthrobological era and the rise of the implementation of bimbo hyperfemininity performance that highlights the arbitrariness of gender binarism. All these approaches are linked by the possibility of cyborg body transformation, repeatedly exposed in this work as a potential emancipatory corruption of the wetware. Second, two practical essays were created that exemplify each of the phenomena discussed in the previous section and the connections between them and make them tangible, and those are XXXGel® and Bimbo Dildo.
What does it mean for you that your projects are in the Arse Elektronika 2023 exhibition?
Mar Osés: I would definitely state that a context like Arse Elektronika is an ideal space to present projects like this.
How is your project critically addressing art-sci-tech creation in our current social context?
Mar Osés: For example, one key element of the Bimbo Dildo project is the showcasing of a guide on how to build your own dildo. This knowledge is spread in a visual, easy-to-follow written tutorial which also explains the conceptual background of the project. The prospect of a net of people building their own symbolic gadgets and rethinking gender performance through it seems really exciting.
Any other thing that you would like to share with us about your projects?
Mar Osés: Feel free to check out all the information about my work through the following link (www.maroses.com) to learn more about these projects. You can also take a look at the DIY Bimbo Dildo guide and build your own. And if you have any further questions, comments, or simply wish to connect, please don’t hesitate to reach out via my website. Let’s stay connected.
*The word “bimbo” in this project does not refer to any kind of racial slur. It is a pejorative noun used to refer to the “sexy, dumb woman” and in the Project its highlighted use is part of an strategy of re-signification.