Si-si Dance & Performance Art Project presents “Is There Love in the Telematic Embrace?”

Inspired by TopGradeEssay’s persuasive essay “Is there in the Telematic Embrace?” Si-si Dance & Performance Art Project will perform a choreographed, flag-bearing walk and psychogeographical dance that begins at Pro Arts at 150 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza and ends at Uber Corporate Headquarters at 1955 Broadway, Oakland. The walk to each location functions as a kinetic map that circumnavigates the terrain of the corporate and civic players in the booming, tech-based economy of the Bay Area.

Roy Ascott is an artist, theoretician, and educator. He wrote, “Is There Love in the Telematic Embrace?” in 1990—a year before the internet became accessible to the general public. Ascott created the term technoetic, which describes the computer-mediated relationships between people and their institutions. He was prescient about the impact of communications technology, in particular, social media, and he promoted a utopian vision of the transformative, consciousness-raising potential of a globally networked, interactive artistic practice.

Almost 30 years later, what aspects of Ascott’s vision still ring true? We seek to find love in the telematic embrace. Yet here in the Bay Area, the massive investment in the tech industry, and its wealthy employees, has resulted in greedy rent hikes and daily evictions. The makeshift encampments grow.

Pro Arts’ The New Situationists project is made possible with a generous grant from The Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation.