In a real-time face-to-face conversation, artist DesirÃ©e Holman and Sherry Turkle, founder and director of the MIT Initiative on Technology and the Self and an expert on sociable robotics, will consider the meanings and possibilities of virtual existence. Holman’s MATRIX exhibition will be open for viewing before the program, with no admission charge after 5 p.m.
Sherry Turkle is a professor in the Program in Science, Technology and Society at MIT. Among other titles, she is the author of Life on the Screen: Identity in the Age of the Internet (1995 and 1997), and Simulation and Its Discontents (2009). As a pioneering thinker on the social and psychological effects of technology, she is a featured media commentator including appearances on Nightline, Frontline, 20/20, and The Colbert Report.
DesirÃ©e Holman’s new commission for MATRIX, Heterotopias, continues the artist’s interest in the tropes of media–from television and music videos to online gaming–as a means to imagine and interrogate the human tendency to engage in fictional narratives. The layers of action and image portrayed in her work speak to the contemporary condition of technology as an ever-present portal into fantastical forms of attachment and desire in virtual space, informing and mediating our sense of self and our social relations.