Peggy Ahwesh (b. 1954)
The Third Body (2007)
2007, 8:40 min, color, sound

An appropriated film, portraying the arrival of Adam and Eve to an exotic Eden, is intercut with appropriated videos of virtual reality demonstrations, among them a human hand shadowed by a computer-generated rendering, medical robots conducting a virtual surgery, and people dressed in bulky headgear navigating virtual spaces. As the title suggests, cyberspace adds to the Genesis legend a third possibility, a virtual existence that challenges natural and social definitions of gender and morality.

Ahwesh writes, "The tropes of the garden, the originary moment of self knowledge and gendered awareness of the body (what is traditionally called sin) is mimicked in the early experiments with virtual reality. The metaphors used in our cutting edge future are restagings of our cultural memory of the garden. Wonderment regarding the self in space, boundaries of the body at the edge of consciousness and the inside and outside skin of perceptual knowledge."

Music: Morton Feldman. -- EAI

This UbuWeb resource is presented in partnership with Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI). This title is available for exhibitions, screenings, and institutional use through EAI, NY. Please visit the EAI Online Catalogue for further information about this artist and work. The EAI site offers extensive resources for curators, students, artists and educators, including: an in-depth guide to exhibiting, collecting, and preserving media art; A Kinetic History: The EAI Archives Online, a collection of essays, primary documents, and media charting EAI's 40-year history and the early years of the emergent video art scene; and expanded contextual and educational materials.