This video is in part a reflection about the amazing people I am fortunate enough to work with and how their sleeves have been the source of exclusion by the art establishment for many centuries – indeed perhaps only now starting to be corrected. These are the individuals who bravely lent me their skins for the Birth Sleeves exhibition in October 2022.
Sleeve Shock exhibition.
Taken from Richard Morgan’s Altered Carbon, sleeves are the term used for bodies that serve as a receptacle for the human consciousness. The body an individual is born with is called their Birth Sleeve.
A recurring theme in Transhumanist thinking is that one day we will be able to upload our human consciousness into some form of device which can then be relocated into a new body (re-sleeved), whether naturally born, modified or artificially created, as required or desired.
When an individual is re-sleeved they often experience a degree of sleeve shock. The more foreign the sleeve is in comparison to the individual’s birth sleeve, in terms of age, race, gender etc, the more intense the shock.
Whilst we are not living in 2384, the year of Altered Carbon, this does provide us with a future-retro perspective on aspects of identity conflict felt by so many of us.
This exhibition, Sleeve Shock, results from an Open Call during 2022 in which respondents were asked to describe the basis for this own sense of Sleeve Shock or identity conflict. Thus the work selected is often deeply autobiographical, is raw and fresh and uses current techniques and media to confront, evade and wrestle with the sleeves that the artists find themselves in.