alexandra barancová

Come Shave With Me

by Alexandra Barancová & Jae Perris, in collaboration with Studio Moniker

Come Shave With Me is a collaborative web-based work that explores the limits of digitally-bound technologies in mediating the bodily aspects of sociality. It is a virtual skin that people can groom together, online. As such, the work proposes an outlet for social grooming in a time of distancing.

With public events and gatherings cut down to an unprecedented minimum around the world, bodily self-care is - let’s be honest - not necessarily a top-most priority. Your arms, armpits, chest, back, genitals, or legs are (usually) tucked away during video chats and conferences after all. What part of it is just for others’ eyes to see and skins to feel? What do we make of our physical bodies in isolation? And how do temporalities of bodily processes interact with the ‘real-time’ pace of digital media?

Bodily processes are an easily overlooked constant to our subjectivity, with the help of which we can reflect on a world in flux, like the current pandemic-induced transformations. Most people will be able to tell you roughly how much their hair has grown since it all started. But the virtual world often has neither the patience, nor the infrastructure to accommodate the wants and needs of our bodies. Come Shave With Me speculates whether the satisfactions enjoyed from bodily grooming could be recreated and shared in virtual spaces. At the same time, it is a reminder of all the bodies sitting behind the screens.

This work is an outcome of Figureable, an artistic research project funded by the Creative Industries Fund NL.