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Excerpt from video component of Plug'n'Play, 3D animation, 10mins, 2023.

Basing itself on the understanding “plugging precedes play” a seductive sequence of installations negotiates layers of visibility and privacy.

Unpacking the different degrees of that which is private, semi-private or public in regards to the physical and conceptual organizations of intimacy; the work is an ongoing performative inquiry envisioned through cyber-sexual practices being taken out of their context and presented elsewhere, translated elsehow. Plug’n’Play puts into question how in either cases materiality and virtuality relate to having access to desire, and to be desired.

Onur Tayranoglu derives from personal experiences of digital cruising, cam sex, sexting, creating and consuming textual and visual pornographic content. Cyber-sexuality holds a potential to allow for diversified and deviated kinds of expansion with queer visibility processes. In this regard, the digital space might precede the physical space, and thus acts as a reflective layer for the self to experience visibility for the screen, for the other, and in turn for the self.

The artistic collaborators have formed a working group for five months together walking and moaning towards a perhaps nonexistent climax. In reenacting the dynamics of seeking partners for sexual desires and forming encrypted communities, Onur has invited their co-performer, whom they have met on Grindr. During the rehearsals, they sought ways of rendering the political and poetic qualities to cyber-sexual practices. They ask, a big, vague, What If?

Working with techniques of virtual realities such as 3D scanning, motion capture and animation, Onur investigates the digital reconfigurations of performing sexual desire, alongside the surrounding economy and politics. The multichannel face maps are abstracted out of their bodies into stock images, commodified as masks in the gallery space. They ask, to what extent can we reclaim authorship over the many traces our bodies leave?

The physical execution of Plug’n’Play grows upon the transparency and the opacity of identity; the latex-covered structure hosts a transitory performance and the pixels pretend to cover that which should not be looked at.
The power of invisibility gets rearranged.
Text: Zeynep Yılmaz
Plug’n’Play, mixed media installation and performance, Helsinki, 2023. Photos by Tuure Leppänen.

Plug’n’Play has developed as Onur Tayranoglu’s Master’s thesis work at Live Art and Performance Studies programme at University of Arts Helsinki. The written component of the research, Plug’n’Play: Peeking out of the closet into the visibility paradigmcan be accessed here.

Working group
Performer: Lempi Koponen
Sound Design: Io Pettersson
Spatial design: Anna Pietilä