And oh those eyes that were data-saturated (D-S)

A fortnight digital conversation initiated by Chloe Stavrou with participating artists of D-S: Leontios Toumpouris, Alexandros Pissourios, Theodoulos Polyviou and Korallia Stergides.

And oh those eyes that were data-saturated1 (D-S) is an online project initiated by visual artist Leontios Toumpouris and the Cultural Section of the Cyprus High Commission in the UK aiming to minimise the sense of disengagement the arts community might be experiencing amidst the pandemic.

“In a data-saturated Covid-19 era artists seek channels and methods of communication to share their interests and practice within an atmosphere of growing precariousness and postponement.” – D-S

The project featured artists posting content relevant to their current research interests on a week-to-week basis, trailing a system of self-curation in attempt to initiate a chain of exchange and mutual participation.

Borrowing from D-S’s ethos of exchange, the following conversation took place using Google Documents over the period of two weeks.

Chloe Stavrou (CS): In Ferdinand de Saussure’s Course in General Linguistics, he reasons that language is a structure that is made up of signs or symbols informing the way by which people understand and participate in society. He states that ‘without language, thought is a vague, uncharted nebula.’

Taking into consideration that perhaps the separation of language, thought and society is inevitable, and the over-saturation of digital communication during the pandemic, how might you imagine re-inventing language from here on after? Is language an image? Is it nostalgic? Is it an incomplete thought?

Theodoulos Polyviou (TP): As the attunement of cognition and body, of commotions and tranquillity, emotions could perhaps best be thought as an alternative tool to language. So rather than thinking of ways to communicate emotions, I am wondering if emotions are the communication itself.

Falling in love, for example, is erroneously thought to be a process induced by the heart, when actually it is a process induced by the mind. It is a spatial transformation – a territorial battle at the gates of our prefrontal cortex affecting rational behaviour through fluctuations in dopamine.

So perhaps the technological hybridisation that occurs in digitally-mediated conversations shouldn’t be overestimated as a leading communication tool. Rather, it should be seen only as a document of bodily exchanges that already took place.

To conclude, language represents bodies in close proximity, privatised and exploited through locative apps in the pursuit of embodied connections through virtual intimacy.

Leontios Toumpouris (LT): I believe in networks that refer to endless connections between things, ideas, individuals and so on. I perceive language through these parameters, and therefore looking for linguistic structures that are inclusive and open-ended.

Emotions, as common threads of comprehension, can indeed, as Theodoulos mentioned, become some sort of shared territory of knowledge in which linguistics could be developed. Perhaps this is a way to operate beyond existing languages and their heteronormative constrains.

Language, in different modes and occasions, has a primary role in my practice which involves different formats of developing relations, such as exhibition-making, programming and mild instances of curating. D-S is an example of the latter which serves as a way to disseminate concerns and interests while inventing a method that favours the sharing of agency within a community of artists.

Chloe Stavrou (CS): So, if we were to consider our bodies as networks of communication, I wonder if certain ways of communicating such as language, or to be more specific, speech, is now turning into an obsolete technology itself?

I particularly dwell on the idea that Theodoulos mentions as well, that in our fast-paced and immediately connected world, language now bears a different intention and purpose due to the pandemic. Must it therefore begin to change or adapt its form for it to satisfy our need for intimacy?

Could D-S be considered a communication (or mis-communication) for shared agency between the artists? Could a project like D-S develop into a more permanent model for production?

Alexandros Pissourios (AP): Part of the apparent relief of acquiring language is that it seems, occasionally, to clarify the obscure exchanges we make our lives out of. – Adam Phillips, Attention Seeking, p. 14

If language clarifies the obscure exchanges we make our lives out of, by being one way of paying attention…then we have a lot of clarifying to stop doing.

Re-inventing language?
Isn’t that what dreams are for?

We go through our days paying attention to what we think matters to us, only to see another version of what matters to us when we fall asleep. An array of competing desires.

But then,
What do we want from images?
What do we want from dreams?
To understand them?

Perhaps in the wish to understand something, we end up paying the wrong kind of attention and in this way, we might end up using the wrong kind of language.

Dreams and images are just another way to pay attention to the world.


Images are another way of paying a certain kind of attention to the world, what sort of images are we defending here? What kind of images are we referring to when we speak of over-saturated images?

Intimacy as an antidote to seduction.

What happens when intimacy is that which is represented in images?

Instead of talking… instead of language.

Do images hold the possibility to metabolise a version of the world we find unbearable?

Have you ever tried to listen to your own language as pure sound? I once tried to detach myself and listen to the news on TV. A soft focus in the eyes, wide angle listening and the sentences turn into a word soup, a bouquet of sounds and tones.

In dreams, emotions are experienced similarly. They wander from one to another, like the mobile signal of CytaVoda and KKTCell when you go closer to the buffer zone in Cyprus.

Korallia Stergides (KS): Yes, re-inventing an orientation, a re-establishing of your senses. I think that’s what I was trying to do with the images I chose to show for D-S. How might I re-imagine the still image I saw with the words I read?

Within my practice I am always overlapping stories and I think also the format of D-S pushed for the condensing of what was the most important part of each story. Similarly, those venn diagrams when both sides meet in the middle – both images hug each other.

It’s my name day today, Kori Korallou, Kori Koralli Mou

This translates to ‘my Coral’ in English.

I was thinking about how much my name as a child made me feel like I had the capacity to talk to animals and the sea. I have been thinking about the language we invent to communicate through endearment, for example, towards animals, humans, partners which I feel is at the core of my work.

Following Pissourios’ point, about images holding a possibility to metabolise a version of the world we find unbearable, directs me towards the reasons why I created my character Deep Love. I felt like in her world I was able to talk about it because she reduced everything in scale. Deep Love allowed me to get to the point where I am today; where I can take images of care, draw them, and in doing so they care for me too, and others who experience them. I think this experience of sharing ways of care was vital in my D-S project.

What I presented in D-S was a gesture toward finding intimacy with an audience. So we could say language is an incomplete thought chasing its other half to make sense of itself.

CS: We look to use intimacy as language but inevitably, in the wake of the pandemic, we found ourselves glued to a screen in an attempt to feel more connected. Online pub quizzes, group zoom calls and posting images showing remnants from our past became commonplace.

Do you think this type of communication, a communication dependent on performativity taking place online, would make people feel less ‘alone’? What is your definition of ‘being alone’, particularly as an artist? How did ‘being alone’ during the pandemic, whether this was voluntary or necessary, inform your work in D-S or otherwise?

LT: Working alone is part of my routine therefore “being alone” often means work, or some form of contemplation. During the lockdown being alone was imposed so it felt suffocating at times. These were the instances that I felt I had to dedicate time to reflect on my practice, stance and approach. The slowing down of the lockdown period and the negotiation of ideas such as urgency, relevance and online presence allowed me to adjust my voice in a way.

I permitted myself to step out of the production process that I am usually in to examine territories of interest that I was not able to do so due to the lack of time, and the concern for consistent continuity in my practice. The pandemic interrupted my thinking process that was directly linked to productivity. It further allowed me to observe my body, take care of it and remind myself of my own pace, consciously excluding screens and social media from this process for a certain period.

CS: I want to address what you say here that you ‘felt you had to dedicated [your] time to reflect on [your] practice’. As a person with many friends who are artists or work in the creative industries, I have been approached by some who confided in me that they felt they had to produce more work during the ‘slowing down of the lockdown period’ whilst others like yourself, seem to have accepted the invisible need for rest and reflection.

D-S has created a space where the process of making work by artists can blossom without the pressure to absolutely do so. As the pandemic continues to plague the world, has it also made us more aware of the fine line between working and resting? Are we now moving at a more humane pace instead of the pace demanded by capitalism?

AP: I experienced the change in continuity in a welcoming way. Maybe because things weren’t ruptured for me, but only slowed down. Maybe I felt safe within the line of commercial work I was engaged with at that moment in time and didn’t want to consume myself with worry right away?

The demands were still there, only in regular letters rather than bold.

There was a feeling of being dismantled but without the feeling of falling apart.

This allowed for finding, maintaining and enduring a certain kind of care towards my own film making practice. Returning to ideas, working on them as if they were dough and allowing for time to percolate rather than flow, learning to talk nonsense and not only bear it, but also enjoy it. Suspending judgement.

So, productivity was replaced with care and I would find myself embracing the idea of making something that takes a long time to make.

KS: Being alone meant being with my most vulnerable thoughts. Being alone is being with the self that haunts me the most, a hyper critical self that I hope to eventually find peace with.

Being alone means responsibility.

It means I have to work, it means I have to be productive. Being alone is exhausting and it is loaded with fear and expectation.

You grow up being told or talking about how you don’t want to ever be alone; to die alone, and so being alone brings with it a lot of negativity. Or at least it did until the lockdown. Like Leontios said, it was imposed on us although it made me realise I have time to work on the negative associations I had with being alone.

My partner encouraged me to take photos and lent me his 35mm camera. When I looked through it, I spent time with more than just thoughts in my head. In doing so I chose to spend time with myself in relation to the other. The act of photographing informed my work in many ways.

I would take it with me to the park and after a while, I noticed a pattern. I realised I was looking for interactions between species and interactions between people. It didn’t hold connotations of posting or sharing that a smartphone had.

When I was invited to D-S I didn’t feel so alone anymore because I felt an obligation within my own practice to create a situation that enabled people to touch, be touched and to find comfort. D-S allowed me to put an anchor in and reflect on my observations, my research, and to ask myself where was I? Where was I amongst this plethora of things? Where was everyone else without the lens of Instagram pursuing this comparison? Where were everyone’s thoughts? What did our eyes focus on?

D-S brought together a platform of sharing. Sharing as well as caring.

For example, what does everyone care about during a pandemic?

Family? Safety?

My work in D-S was very much informed by this desire to make an audience notice themselves as other, or set up a task that requested them to bring another into their space. To create a situation that requires an audience to see themselves as not alone.

Seeing how people gravitated to the giraffes on my daily trips to Regents Park really propelled this thought about thinking where and what people gravitate to when in isolation.

In the park everyone kept to themselves but where the animals peered over the borders of the zoo, congregated people and peoples’ notion of proximity was dropped. Cars slowed down and people clambered out their windows to just look at the giraffes, just to be with someone other than themselves.

I’ve never thought of the word alone so much until now.

If I say it out loud, I open my mouth and start with the letter A – I am open, gasping for air, allowing external input in and then I close my mouth on an ‘n’ sound – I close whatever I have taken in momentarily and it is now internalised till the next word.

This reminds me of a conversation I had with my dad about the sounds in languages. Their associations to temperature and how this inevitably influences social interactions in cultures.

TP: One can claim that digitally mediated communication triggers spatial reconfiguration and deterritorialization2 which in turn challenges notions of borders and peripheries, and hence confuses definitions of individuality or collectiveness. In a digital world, with no physical centres or peripheries, we are pushed to understand intimacy and togetherness on transcendent levels.

I would like to compare the experience of a heartbroken person to that of a person isolated behind a screen, and in doing so trace the Pavlovian similarities of a lovelorn body to a digital one. In both cases, the self hopes for reunification with missing parts that one wasn’t even aware existed. The conception of self as single and immovable is being challenged. To be missing parts but still functioning is an acknowledgment that we are as much as we are not, that we are as real as we are virtual. The paradox gets even more complex when the missing parts of yourself, the ones that the loved one took away, cause bodily pain. The virtual parts remind you of their non-existence through the capability of your physical organs to cause aches, sensations. So what is real and what is invented?

Both the lovelorn body and the digital body are prone to “social pain”, explained in psychology as the pain experienced in response to loss of social connection. Essentially, we are in an eternal fight to loneliness. A journey that could have possibly begun from our ancestors, the Homo sapiens, when being alone implied exposure to danger and potential death.

I can’t differentiate being alone as an artist from being alone as a person in the same way I can’t exemplify the differences between the lovelorn body and the digital one. To me, the condition of being alone is inherently imposed by the other (in relation to us) or by us upon ourselves or upon another for two contrasting reasons: survival and ignorance. Paradoxically, without trying to degrade anyone’s experience of being alone to a homogeneous phenomenon, online or offline loneliness is what brings us together, taking in mind that we have all been there once or twice.

KS: I think your last sentence encapsulates a lot of my intention with D-S.

CS: So if digitally mediated communication is what awaits us,how would various arts communities and collectives, now void of physical communication and interaction, look like in the future? Would it be plausible given the danger of more pandemics and lockdowns in our midst?

Would the notion of collaborative practice, and all its encompassing trust, still exist? Can it exist digitally, permanently?

TP: We are inevitably shifting towards a digitally dominated world. As a result, new modes of spatial and narratological production are being generated with regards to making and exhibiting work, whether this is done autonomously or collectively.

In times of digitally-driven communication, the very definition of “self” as singular and stable is being challenged, resulting in new ways of collaboration. Our multiple selves could perhaps collaborate with each other; virtual reincarnations could take place.

The symbolic and material boundaries of the art world could be re-negotiated, forcing artists to find new ways to compromise within these reconfigured spaces. The dominant culture would be directed towards standardised modes of communication. Perhaps the role of the artist would be to question them by interrupting homogenous ways of coming together and speculating on new forms of connections with tech-other and fluid identities. Perhaps collaborating could become a tool for queer space and identity.

My current collaboration with Eleni Diana Elias is a great example to the aforementioned. Together we are remotely developing a site-specific VR installation for ZKM, Karlsruhe as part of Beyond Matter residency.

Eleni Diana Elia uses design as a medium to challenge assumptions and conceptions about the role objects play in the contemporary human condition, and seeks to explore the stage through the physical but also the virtual in order to create pragmatic make-believe scenarios.

My practice investigates possibilities of marriage between VR technologies, performance and sculpture. I am interested in site-specific responses to space and the engagement with open forms of audience participation.

Together, we are exploring the ways in which networks and virtual environments play a critical formative role in the constitution of self-hood and desire as well as a crucial role in extending the parameters of lived experience.

The final exhibition will investigate the relevance of art and architecture in the digital world, and the ways in which their predicated relationship can challenge the conception of borders, boundaries and the ergonomic factors concerning space to become tools for political disorganisation, procuring modes of queering that disrupt homogenous normativity.

LT: I am not sure where all these would lead us. I feel that somehow though we need to be aware of the new reality of cultural production that is currently shaping. The digital content and the virtual reality have to be subjects under discussion and negotiation between artists and producers (institutions, museums, organisations, galleries, etc) rather than a given fact.

CS: Trailing this tangent of moving towards a digitally dominated world, what can we make of the following extract below:

“Time deepens connections, whereas technology economises communication. This is why, despite the growing number of ways for people to be seen and heard, tele-technologies have ironically made it harder for people to comprehend one another. What matters in communication—understanding, relationality, interchange—has somehow gotten lost in the transmission.” – Paul Chan, The Unthinkable Community

The text speaks about how, despite the infinite ways of digital communication we have at our disposal, we are somehow further away from communicating authentically as “the messages transmitted and relayed begin to feel optimised solely to get things done, grab some attention, or build an audience. Communication becomes synonymous with advertising.”

Taking this, and a potential future with more lockdowns to come, into consideration, how do you feel these forces of technology, communication and economy will reveal themselves?

LT: I grew up in the era of Netscape Navigator and IRC (there I said it!). The dial up modem’s speed was slow. Connecting with online users was slower. Conversations were less snappy and less meme-like. I would structure a sentence or a question and wait for the modem to reconnect to see somebody’s reply. This sound was derivative of connecting with others.

It seems that the apparatuses we operate with/in affect our communication speed; our speed to engage, to trust, to care, to swipe left. Social media condenses communication, time and language constantly to the bare minimum in order to trigger a response. It sometimes feels that a response is enough; any type of response or acknowledgement, as long as somebody justifies our online presence.

I find myself using online tools and absorbing transmitted information online; from fashion brands to art institutions, life coaches to poets, personal trainers to activists, meme accounts to artists, porn stars to family members. However, I want to be conscious of the tools I employ and I want to allow myself to be critical with them. I want to be aware of the language I use; if it’s sharp, condensed, personal, slow and/or sincere. I want to be aware of the multiple emotional layers in somebody’s sentence, in a series of emojis, in the reasoning in images. Occasionally distancing myself from online activity though is necessary to clear my gaze and keep the connection with my gut feeling; both being essential for my practice and the relationships I develop with people, things and institutional structures.

Whatever the circumstances, we will always try to connect with others. The questions are: how slow we do it, how much time we are willing to invest and what is our comparison measures to keep track of our various or changing speeds. I guess one of many for me is that dial up modem.

CS: Then what Theodoulos mentioned earlier makes sense: during lockdown it became almost impossible to pass time with others in a physical space, to be ‘together’, to connect with others, and that, in a way, exposed an incompleteness in ourselves which we all share.We live in a reality with other people and we live events that are also experienced by others. However, these experiences are unique to each of us. We became (even more) acutely aware of our existence, whether that is floating, working or other at any instance of time.

Some mediated this awareness into several coping mechanisms by meditating, gardening, exploring topics of interest and observing others as well as animals. Did you feel that this type of care, or self-care, occupied your time productively or did you feel like you were ‘wasting time’? Did you (begin to) reconcile these practices into your work and for research revolving around D-S?

And more so, how would you have differentiated reality from fiction or vice versa on an ordinarily, still, ‘lockdown’ day?

KS: A lot of what I presented in D-S was about time. That was what changed the most after all. This question makes me think of the fine line between coping mechanisms and a task that needed to be done that I didn’t have time for or wouldn’t give myself time for.

I personally had to disconnect myself from my phone as it was causing me more anxiety than before. I found myself starting to measure my productivity with others, worrying about if I am wasting my time, or worrying about my family in Cyprus. When my partner and I had been ill for a month, I definitely used television as a coping mechanism to diffuse the reality that was happening. I watched every season of OC all day every day solidly for two weeks. However, I accepted it despite the fact that I remember nothing except some of Summer’s clothing choices and the layout of Ryan’s bedroom. When the opportunity to do D-S came along, it provided me with a good transition into allowing reality to come back in.

However, thinking about what you mentioned in the first week of questions about remnants of the past, and now in the second week about coping mechanisms, I have to address the Chicago Bulls Documentary, The Last Dance. When the documentary came out, it really helped me get through some difficult low days – I was my 15 year old self for each episode. Then, there was also everyone else, whatever age, that was connecting to the love of this sport which was so absent at the time. Somehow this motivation that came with hearing the success of the Bulls was simultaneously motivating me. You felt a part of a re-telling of a feeling. This motivated me to exercise and care for my body – giving it air. It took me to the park, and in turn opened up a whole site of research and inspiration.

I changed the space around me. I started to paint every floor of my home and eventually made myself a studio on the top floor. I rearranged all the furniture, acquired about 40 plants by the end of July and finally took care of my garden. I learnt to cook a dish. I had time to make the space I wanted to be in when I am alone. That’s where my productivity lay.

Time was measured by how many rooms I had left to paint.
Time was measured by how long it took to water my plants.
Time was measured by how my body felt.
Time was measured by the sun.

CS: Measuring one’s productivity with someone else’s is indeed a very dangerous game, perhaps almost identical to comparing one’s life or materials to someone else’s. I’m a huge fan of Baz Luhrman’s ‘Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen)’, especially when it says life’s a marathon not a race, so I try to apply my best to not think about how others are doing comparatively to my own career. 

It’s interesting that you mention the Bulls documentary (Last Dance) as I finished watching it last month as well. The success of the Bulls was synonymous with the greatness of Michael Jordan but the documentary illustrated that the team’s success was a unanimous effort to greatness that began failing when certain aspects of the players’ coexistence began to fail, as well as the team’s inability to protect their own kin after years of loyalty, ie. Scottie Pippen and coach Phil Jackson. This led to the inevitability of The Bulls having the worst season in their final 1998 run. So here, your allusion to the Bulls appears to be relative to certain aspects of your own productivity; for example, when you begin to take care of your own core being, you seem to flourish and somehow, time begins to flow instead of drag?

KS: Thank you for highlighting this sentence, coming back to my response a few days later and I’d already forgotten that I had phrased it in such a way.

The way the structure of time was edited in The Last Dance, unlike other documentaries, is that The Last Dance goes back and forth constantly. Amongst the overall screening of the Bulls’ journey, they bring about these individual profiles of each player. The documentary still flowed and spoke of the future even when it went backwards. When we think of success or productivity, it is often associated with this forward moving motion, yet here we are in a situation where you are reflecting on the past as a forward moving motion. Things are moving so much slower that you feel as if you are given enough room to go backwards and still be moving forward. You relive the adrenaline of forward movement even though it was a replay of a time that had already passed.

I remember recording the sun caressing the painting Picasso Child With Dove. I’d stayed in bed and noticed that it was the first thing I saw every morning. Unless I physically moved, there wasn’t anything in that room that would change except for my own organs or that light. Of course, objects have their timeline too. They degrade but over a much longer period of time, and I thought at some point that if the sun hits at that bird every day, does that mean that bird will fade and the child will remain without the bird?

The patience of waiting in that room, watching something, knowing it will take an hour for it to complete its journey, did drag and I have been thankful for tripods many times. But it still flowed because I know I could rely on it.

I could return and know it was there doing its daily journey and there is something comforting knowing that – it surpasses human existence. It’s likely that the journey will still be the same in 50 years during that time of the year. Should I not know what to focus on or if I feel distracted, it will tell me. The sun has been an ongoing neighbour in my work.

Being back in Cyprus now and restarting this flow, I found again I was so tense, so I returned to the sun. When is it too hot? When does everything become orange? I found it comforting to see how the sun takes its walk around my family house and perhaps in this way I can find a way to ground myself and understand time here. Its journey is familiar.

AP: I want to return to
Intimacy as an antidote to seduction

During the first months of lockdown
I kept dreaming of a man I know. We will call him F.
In all of these dreams I would try and seduce F. He would not yield.

If, and when he did, it would be in such a way that made me regret it.
In one dream, we kissed and as our lips joined, he spat in my mouth.

In the waking life, the situation wouldn’t be much different.
Even though our communication was scarce, it wasn’t meaningless. 

Nevertheless, desires were not met in the way I wanted them to.
I had told him about my original dream:

-I dreamed about you last night
-Oh really? What was it about?
-I was trying to seduce you and you wouldn’t give in.
-Sounds intense

I was disappointed in that sombre reaction which, in my mind, set the tone for our relationship.

Our online interaction only transcended in real life twice during the first four months of lockdown. I sent messages every now and then. When the instagram message thread would show the receipt ‘seen’, my body would react. Even so, ‘seen’ is not how I felt.

F is a writer and a lecturer in theatre studies.

In one of my attempts to get to know him better,
I asked to read something he had written.

I opened the PDF he sent me which was on ‘intimacy and performance’. It proposes that intimacy, being once the domain of individuals, specifically individuals in relationships, often in domesticity, has recently become more of a public interest. He goes through this idea by considering three different performances that touch upon the relationship of touch, flirtation and whispering. I think to myself how delicate these relationships are; they are rendered useless if they are amplified… touching can easily become invasive, flirting can become inappropriate and whispering can become shouting.

The text goes through three theatrical/art performances to examine intimacy and what it promises in each performance; what it enables us to do or what prohibits us from doing. It essentially shows us how we are bound to one another in social, biological, legal, political, emotional and affective ways.

In one sentence, he expresses that the pursuit of intimacy is characterised by the fear that it won’t happen, that you won’t get what you want and that the relationship will fade out.

In another sentence, he brings us face to face with the desire to experience intimacy in public as a narcissistic endeavour. I go on to wonder how can we create spaces for ourselves where we can bear being seduced by others without the burden of narcissism?

The text finishes on how theatrical forms of intimacy (especially ones that feel purchased) could actually be another version of alienation.

After reading the text, I eventually returned to my dreams, where no amount of touching, flirting and whispering was sufficient for this intimacy to flourish. I left London, returned to the landscape of Cyprus, to another kind of family intimacy and eventually gave up on my pursuit. F was in Sicily for holidays, posting images of himself next to cacti, with the tag “Family Portrait”.

I let F know that he strikes me more as a prickly pear. A kind of cactus that makes fruit, which are a bit tricky to pick. Then, I let the infatuation rest.

Is playfulness the middle ground between intimacy and seduction?

Chantal Akerman’s book “My Mother laughs” accompanies her film “No home movie”. It kept me company during the lockdown months whilst I was thinking of Cyprus, from London. It was also a key reference to my material I selected for D-S.

For me, the book and film stands as an example of intimacy where frustration, domesticity, but also ‘elsewhereness’ and ideas on belonging and death, come in and out of focus in a dizzying whirlpool. The grain of Akerman’s relationship with her mother is difficult to understand and describe without seeing the film or reading the book.

In the end of the book, she notes ‘And whenever I finished a film, I felt that I’d only left a small trace. I needed to leave a trace, really I did.’ I found the idea of a trace, as the only thing that remains after finishing what would be considered a laborious operation (that of making a film), as heart-breaking but somewhat true.

Traces, whispers, touching, flirting.

If intimacy demands our labour,
What can we expect in return?

You can view the entirety of D-S by clicking here.

Leontios Toumpouris is a visual artist currently based between Glasgow and Nicosia. His practice explores language in different modes, alchemical discourse, painting and making as a learning tool. Aiming to create circumstances of shared agency and initiate dialogue, he configures instances of programming and curating to produce projects such as (D-S).

Alexandros Pissourios is an artist filmmaker based between the UK and Cyprus. Currently, he is interested in biography and explores themes of intimacy, time, biological and social kinship as well as a relationship with the landscape. Taking off from close observation and attentiveness his filmmaking carries an affinity to experimental traditions.

Theodoulos Polyviou is a Cypriot artist based in London. In 2014, he graduated from the Royal College of Art with a masters in Visual Communication. By focusing on the architectural narratives that outline queer spaces, Theodoulos’s practice investigates the ways in which politics and social structures necessitating geographical specificity, translate digitally to produce political disorganisation and discussion.

Korallia Stergides is an interdisciplinary artist based between London and Cyprus. She explores the vital politics of care in an interdependent world and emphasises non-human agencies. Korallia remythologises autobiographical narratives – reimagining the intimacy of our interspecies relationships and home.

The conversation was supported by the Cultural Services – Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports and Youth of Cyprus and the Cyprus Visual Artists Association (EI.KA).

  1. Suzette H. Elgin, Native tongue, (London: The Women’s Press, 1985), 57
  2. In anthropology, deterritorialization is the separation of social, cultural and political practices (such as people, objects, languages, or traditions) from a location.

Chloe Stavrou is a Cypriot freelance writer, arts administrator and technician based between Limassol and London. As a writer, she has been published in Contra Journal, was a past contributor of Furtherfield Editorial and is a contributor of Brooklyn Rail. She is Super Effective’s founder and editor but is also a DJ under the alias of Barlic Gutter since 2011. As Barlic Gutter she has played in venues in the UK (Pickle Factory, Dalston Superstore), venues and festivals in Cyprus (Sousami, XARKIS, Asila Festival & Afro Banana Festival) and events in Athens and Beirut.

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