Artist Gazes at Stoya Through Google Glass

Dec 24, 2013 1:30 PM PST

CYBERSPACE — Noted artist Molly Crabapple pioneered “Glass Gaze,” a project in which she drew porn performer and aerialist Stoya while wearing Google Glass.

Crabapple's pair of Google Glass, hacked by journalist Tim Pool, enables it to live stream the image seen first-hand by Crabapple; “Viewers will see art-making directly through my eyes,” she said.

“The gaze, whether the stereotypical male gaze or the gaze of an artist, is rapacious and objectifying,” Crabapple said on Rhizome.org. “But technologies like Google Glass add a new layer to looking. Now, the gaze itself can be commodified, quantified and sold — whether to advertisers or the NSA. Google Glass lets your audience, or the government, see the world from your perspective.”

Crabapple, best known for her paintings inspired by the recent financial crisis, chose Stoya because she felt the performer resonated with one of her obsessions: the French painter Edgar Degas’ ballet dancers, who she says combine an inspiring cocktail of fragility, beauty and iron-toughness. 

“…As both a porn star and a circus performer, she's in some ways a modern embodiment of them,” she told CNET in an interview. “I told her to do positions like she would if she was warming up for an aerial performance. And she's going to be wearing her practice gear, so it's an update on the concept.”

The performance was streamed live on the Rhizome website on Dec. 11 from 3-3:30 p.m. In early 2014, Creative Time Reports and Rhizome will co-publish the video along with a relevant essay penned by Crabapple. 

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