How does it feel to be a fiction?  (2017)

Viral text and digital performance



How does it feel to be a fiction? is a digital performance that disseminates a text in a manner that mirrors the operation of a viral “email worm”—though with the active consent of participants. This text changes with each installation of the piece, responding to the context of the hosting institution.  


To participate in the performance, visit https://howdoesitfeeltobeafiction.org.  If you chose to participate, you will be granted access to a text that considers the lived experience of being or feeling a “fiction.” At the same time you are granted access to the text, an email invitation to participate in the piece  will be sent in your name to all of the email addresses stored in your Gmail account. Across these steps, no personal information is stored permanently. Your contacts are not impacted beyond receiving this one email, unless they choose consent to participating in the piece.  In this manner, the work reproduces itself by circulating “virally" through tens of thousands of personal email accounts.  


This is an iterative work. Originally commissioned after 2016 US Presidential election, it has become an ongoing reflection one's capacity to speak, matter, and mean in contemporary culture and politics. The piece has been shown previously at Recess (NYC, 2017); La Universidad de los Andes (Bogota, Columbia, 2017); Artspace (New Haven, CT, 2018), the 6th Athens Biennale (2018), and Galerie Maria Bernheim (2020). For each iteration, a new text (available only via the viral mechanism for the duration of the exhibition) is produced each time the piece is shown.




How does it feel to be a fiction? New York Virus I ( April 13-June 14, 2017)

"Viral" text and digital performance


How does it feel to be a fiction? Bogotá Virus (October 19-November 25, 2017)

"Viral" text, digital performance, sculptural installation


How does it feel to be a fiction? New Haven Virus (May 11-June 30, 2018)

"Viral" text, digital performance, public art installation and participatory reading


How does it feel to be a fiction? Athens Virus (October 26-December 9, 2018)

"Viral” text and digital performance via personality test, sculptural installation


How does it feel to be a fiction? Zurich Virus (January 23-March 7, 2020)

"Viral" text, digital performance, sculptural installation


How does it feel to be a fiction? New York Virus II (February 21-May 9, 2020)

"Viral" text, digital performance, image QR code