Virtual Embrace Symposium

Virtual Embrace Symposium

Friday 30 June 2017, 4-8pm + after-party with DJ set by Chloe Frieda (Alien Jams) till 11pm
Booking essential, tickets £0-5


Performances: Annabelle Craven-Jones, Elizabeth Mputu | Screenings: Kit Galloway and Sherrie Rabinowitz, Shu Lea Cheang, Ayesha Tan Jones | Speakers: Victoria Sin, Helen Hester, chaired by Nina Wakeford | Afterparty music: Chloe Frieda (Alien Jams)



4.00-4.15pm Screening: A Hole A Space (1980) by Kit Galloway and Sherrie Rabinowitz

4.15-4.30pm Introduction by Res. curators Sarah Jury, Helen Kaplinsky and Lucy A. Sames

4.30-5.00pm Screening: Satelite Arts and other projects 1975-1995 (1995) by Kit Galloway and Sherrie Rabinowitz

5.00-5.25pm Screening: Skype D8 w/ UNA jynXX (2013) and Whychcraft? (2017) by Ayesha Tan Jones

5.25-5.55pm  BREAK + Live stream: [floating hands floating minds] by Annabelle Craven-Jones

5.55-6.10pm Live stream opening ritual: <title><LIVING><b>REATHING</b><HUMANS> <COMPOST><SYSTEM></title> by Elizabeth Mputu *

6.10-6.35pm Screening: Those Fluttering Objects of Desire (1992) by Shu Lea Cheang

6.35-6.55pm Response to Shu Lea Cheang by Victoria Sin

6.55-7.15pm Keynote: After the Future: n Hypotheses of Post-Cyber Feminism by Helen Hester

7.15-8.00pm Panel: Helen Hester & Victoria Sin, chaired by Nina Wakeford

8.00-10.00pm Drinks with music from Chloe Frieda (Alien Jams)


*Live streamed performance <title><LIVING><b>REATHING</b><HUMANS> <COMPOST><SYSTEM></title> by Elizabeth Mputu will continue to be on display from 5.25-8.30pm 


Through performance, screening and discussion, Virtual Embrace will explore the streamed, disrupted, bodily substance – intimate, awkward, live, therapeutic, sexual, alchemical.

Kit Galloway and Sherrie Rabinowitz’s 1980 public communication sculpture ‘Hole In Space’ connected pedestrians on the streets of NYC and LA via life-size transmitted video projections of themselves in a strangely intimate science fiction fantasy. Nearly 40 years later what we are now familiar with as a ‘live feed’ thanks to the ubiquity of Wi-Fi, Skype and Facetime, is invariably interrupted by the friction of imperfect technology. Jittering, rather than flowing from source to mouth, the fantasy of the encrypted liquid body is interrupted and awkwardly jerks one back to the material lack of physical proximity.

Virtual Embrace has been developed by Res. from research carried out in the archive of media art curator Kathy Rae Huffman. The archive is formed of a collection of catalogues, videos and rare books on cyberfeminism, broadcasting,, and early new media art from the 1980s to early ‘00s. For the past 12 months with Goldsmiths Library, Res. have been working on a programme of practice-based research events and commissions based around these materials.

A selection of books and catalogues from the archive is installed at Res. and will be available to browse during the Virtual Embrace event. Alternatively you can make an appointment to visit at any time

New texts by Helen Hester, Legacy Russell and Linda Stupart, written in response to materials and themes within the Kathy Rae Huffman Archive, will be released over the next three weeks 

For further information on Virtual Embrace or to visit the Kathy Rae Huffman Archive, please send us an email

Tickets for Virtual Embrace are priced on a sliding scale – please select the price you can afford, booking is essential. Res. is a not for profit organisation.

Supported by Goldsmiths Library, Goldsmiths Research and Enterprise Committee and The Annual Fund



Shu Lea Cheang is an artist, filmmaker, networker. Cheang constructs networked installation and multi-player performance in participatory impromptu mode. She drafts sci-fi narratives in her film scenario and artwork imagination. She builds social interface with transgressive plots and open network that permits public participation. Engaged in media activism for two decades (the 80s and 90s) in New York city, Cheang concluded her NYC period with a cybernoia film FRESH KILL (1994) and the first Guggenheim museum web art commission/collection BRANDON (1998-1999). Since her relocation to Eurozone in 2000, she has taken up large scale installations and collaborative, networked performances. From homesteading cyberspace in the 90s to her current retreat to post-crash BioNet zone, Cheang takes on viral love, bio hack in her current cycle of works.  In 2017, she released FLUIDØ at Berlinale Berlin Film festival and Wonders Wander for Madrid Pride 2017.  She is currently developing Unborn0x9, an ultrasound hack performance and UKI, cinema interrupted with mobile-media.

Annabelle Craven-Jones completed her postgraduate Fine Art studies at Chelsea and Wimbledon and a Foundation in Art Psychotherapy, University of Roehampton London. Current projects include a third solo show with Cruise & Callas, Berlin which is livestream-based including night stream events. She has a forthcoming group show at KAI 10 Arthena Foundation, Düsseldorf. She is currently a practice-based researcher (MPhil/Phd) at the Royal College of Art looking at self-broadcasting through the medium of livestreaming.  Exhibitions include Arts Brussels (2012-15), Wysing Arts Centre, Tallinn Print Triennial (15th, 16th), GSK Contemporary Royal Academy London with Mark Titchner, [SPACE] London, Autocenter Berlin, Jerwood Drawing Prize London and touring (2005, 2009), Istanbul Biennial, Tehran Biennial and Anti Contemporary Art Festival Finland. Works for online platforms include Field Broadcast, /seconds and The Agency of Unrealised Ideas. 

Chloe Frieda has been showcasing obscure and anomalous music from all ranges of the electronic spectrum on her bi-weekly NTS radio show, as well as her label Alien Jams, since 2011. Chloe demonstrates her ear for unique selections, ranging from eerie atmospheres and assertive breaks to summery, beatific vibes, preserving an element of weirdness throughout.

Kit Galloway and Sherrie Rabinowitz began working together on telecollaborative art projects in 1975, producing Satellite Arts Project (1977), Hole in Space (1980) and, Electronic C.A.F.E Network (1984). Satellite Arts and Hole in Space are seminal works in telecommunications art history, recognised as the first geographically dispersed electronic images by artists. The live stream and remote collaged images were precursors to a virtual reality experience, where public audiences and workshop participants were invited to occupy a live immersive place, referred to by the artists as ‘image as place’.

Helen Hester is Head of Film and Media at the University of West London. Her research interests include technofeminism, sexuality studies, and theories of social reproduction, and she is a member of the international feminist collective Laboria Cuboniks. She is the author of Beyond Explicit: Pornography and the Displacement of Sex (SUNY Press, 2014), the co-editor of the collections Fat Sex: New Directions in Theory and Activism (Ashgate, 2015) and Dea ex Machina (Merve, 2015), and series editor for Ashgate’s ‘Sexualities in Society’ book series.

Elizabeth Mputu. Ball of tension. Hyperbolic. Online is not a safe space but u can map out your own terrain bravely free education thru forum adult play time in cyber utopias as established by “clicks and enters” “clicks and enters” as activism/actionism, activating n stimulating alternate realities n possibilities healing centers. Online presence as a mechanism 4 centering political identity n drawing energy towards the preservation of ur kind. Groundation. Seeding. Bleeding out wen ur net worth’s oversharing/ networks overbearing/demanding still us in a machine, queering normative standards of existing. Refreshing pages. Refreshing. New ages. Refreshing. Options. Selectivity new windows. perspectives. I’m liz n i’m a #thot online <3

Victoria Sin is a London based artist concerned with the experience of the physical within the social body. Their work explores desire, identification and objectification within systems of looking and reification of ideal images within technologies of representation. They work across performance, moving image, writing, installation, and print, and use drag as a tool to challenge expectations and attitudes on femme identities and how images and iconography of femininity are produced, inscribed, and performed. Their long term project, Dream Babes, explores speculative fiction as a productive strategy of queer resistance, invading existing narratives around naturalised states of sex, gender and race, imaging futurity that does not depend on existing historical and social infrastructure.

Ayesha Tan Jones graduated from Central Saint Martins, London in 2016, works with issues concerning the energy, form and identity of the Female Spiritual, placing this archetypical figure at the centre of a radiant and humming cosmic world view. Ayesha harnesses the essence of the innocent and powerful perception projected by the artist’s inner-child, in an attempt to communicate with and stimulate her audiences own infantile infinite potency. Pop music, sculpture, digital image and video mix collage manipulation are combined to express a political consciousness traversing the universe on a quest for adventure.

Nina Wakeford is an artist and sociologist – trained first in Sociology at the University of Cambridge then Oxford, where she gained a D.Phil in Sociology and began a research and teaching career in the social sciences. She is now Reader in Sociology at Goldsmiths, where she set up the MA in Visual Sociology. As an artist Nina makes work that begins with the unfinished business of past social movements, and the challenges of revisiting the energies that these movements created. She is interested in how to enact demands through material engagements, the way in which identification and disidentification are forged, modes of empathy and inhabitation, and the risks of staying loyal/respectful to the kinds of materials that initiate the work. Nina is the co-editor of Inventive Methods: The Happening of the Social (Routledge, 2012) a collection that explores, amongst other things, how research might better work with openness and ambiguity.




Supported by Goldsmiths Library, Goldsmiths Research and Enterprise Committee and The Annual Fund. 

Image: Elizabeth Mputu, 5 elemental breaths to alleviate your facebook stress, video, 2016