Sophie Kahn

“Every point of contact between a body and its media extension marks the site of some secret burial.” – Laurence Rickels, Aberrations of Mourning

My work addresses the resonances of death in the technological image. I aim to tease out the unintended emotional resonances of new imaging technologies: the deathly, haunted quality of all attempts to simulate life, no matter how labored and precisely engineered they may be.

The precise 3d scanner I use was never designed to capture the body, which is always in motion. When confronted with a moving body, it receives conflicting spatial coordinates, generating a glitch. I then 3d print this damaged data at life size.

I come from a photography background, and in this post-photographic work I try to capture the eeriness of duplicating the body in an image. New modes of technological reproduction only heighten this strangeness: witness the ‘uncanny valley’ of simulated humanness in 3d cinema and video games. I scan my own body frequently, but what I end up with is a series of digital doppelgangers with a (n after)life of their own. These scans, realized as life-size synthetic statues, serve as a incomplete memorials to the body as it moves through time, and through both physical and digital space.

Sophie Kahn (London, 1980) works as an artist in the fields of sculpture and video. She studied Fine Art and History of Art at Goldsmiths College and Spatial Information Architecture at RMIT University, Melbourne. Her work has been exhibited at the Art Gallery of New South Wales and Performance Space, Sydney; Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery; and The Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC. She was shortlisted for the Japan Media Arts Festival and the Wynn Newhouse Award, and is a 2011 New York Foundation for the Arts Digital/Electronic Arts Fellow. She lives and works in Chicago and New York.