Inside the immense flow of data exchange, the new technologies have facilitated an interdependency between the spheres of what is private and what is public, between interior and exterior, leading us to reveal, in an increasingly natural manner, our experiences, thoughts and feelings, enlarging the circle of intimacy to the point of sharing our inner life with the invisible, abstract audience of Internet users. Things personal become collective, things belonging to others become our own and intimacy is no longer something that is preserved and kept in our innermost circles, but something that is projected in all directions in an eccentric movement. Thus intimacy turns into extimacy, to use the term created by Jacques Lacan to define the existence, within the most intimate sphere of the I, of a “foreign body”, that which is external to the individual and with which one identifies.
We need to share our intimacy because what we are is defined both by our subjectivity and by what surrounds us. In the realm of digital art, several artists have worked with the new parameters of subject, body, interpersonal relationship and intimacy introduced by the new technologies. Their works enable us to initiate a reflection on the ways in which the mobile phone, e-mails, chats, social networks and instant messaging systems modify, increase or condition our communication with others. They also allow us to consider where the boundaries of our personal space lie, where our “I” ends and that of others begins.
Extimacy. Art, intimacy and technology is a group digital art exhibition which puts forward a proposal that spectators reflect on these concepts through the presentation of works by recognised artists from the international scene. Interactive installations, mainly, that involve spectators in what is active participation with the work, which never ceases to be a piece with its own identity, the fruit of the firm artistic background of creators who combine art and technology in their work. In an era in which the user adopts an active role in the diffusion and manipulation of information on the global network (known as web 2.0), in art, too, a change in roles between spectator and work is taking place, with interactive art as the best expression of this new paradigm. The works of some great names from this sphere, such as Christa Sommerer and Laurent Mignonneau, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer or Paul Sermon, for instance, are combined with the creations of promising artists like Gazira Babeli, Clara Boj and Diego Díaz, Gregory Chatonsky, Carlo Zanni or Martin John Callanan. All of them exhibit the multiple facets a concept as complex and at the same time as simple as extimacy can present, from different angles and with diverse intentions.