Gabriel Massan questions how we can conceive of social, political and sexual freedom detached from the human body, deep in the guts of a biomechanical night club.
Encountering the work of digital artist Gabriel Massan can be comparable to getting lost in a particularly intense nightclub, a multi-sensory overload of disorientating overstimulation that can leave you questioning not only where, but who, you really are. “I think it’s because there’s no hierarchy between the senses, they’re all at the same level, sharing the same animation techniques,” they explain. “Sometimes you can perceive them moving within the same direction, getting mixed with the same colours, even though you can see there’s an object there.”
This is absolutely by design. Queer club culture is an essential part of Massan’s practice, a space from which they have always drawn vital influence, both before and after their relocation to Europe. “Seeing the difference between Berlin and Sao Paulo made me realise how these two cities are connected in the way creating space for freedom, for people to investigate and formulate their own identities, but at the same time, they are so different,” they assert.
It’s here, in a space both furtive and fertile, caught in a clash between cultures, that we find ourselves in the third and final part of Massan’s online residency at Fact. Having graduated from from the bright intimacy of the first episode’s cyberpunk bar to a darker, more cavernous spaces – from Panorama Bar down into the throng of Berghain’s main room – the artist’s virtual golems are locked into the rhythm of another party, another chance to discover themselves.
In this alternate reality Massan is free to question how we can conceive of freedom, whether social, political or sexual, detached from the human body. As a biomechanical angel descends past monolithic, mycelial speaker stacks, shaped from the same glistening organic matter as the ravers they tower over, we are incited to question what it actually is we might be celebrating, what is the precarious bubble that is always at risk of bursting.
You can find Gabriel Massan on Instagram.
Unbonded on a Bonded Domain Credits:
Concept, Director, Lead Artist – Gabriel Massan
Animator, Unreal Developer – Carlos Minozzi
Sound Designer, Music – Agazero
Watch next: Gabriel Massan Presents – Unbonded on a Bonded Domain (Part Two)