The Internet is made of pussies.
For VVVVVV, I developed a fully-functional ‘pornographic’ website that depicts no nudity, only abstract images that address pornography’s use of women’s bodies throughout the history of the world wide web (WWW). The website, available at http://www.VVVVVV.xxx, uses appropriated footage that represents both the internet and the vagina. Using the internet and the vagina in tandem to comment on one another, this project examines the failure of metaphor to address these disparate—yet somehow intimately related—systems. The project teases out an alternative history of the world wide web, pornography, and women’s bodies. The website critiques the dearth of representations of female anatomy, within and beyond pornography, and its relative cultural unimportance as compared to phallic imagery. By evoking a 1990s aesthetic—a time when mainstream consumers first got online—the website confronts the commercialization of the Internet that was accomplished using women’s bodies. The vagina is mapped onto how the popular visual imagination conceives the physical presence of the internet as an endless, tunneling space (as seen in The Matrix, Hackers, and Lawnmower Man), which, in the context of VVVVVV, becomes what I call a ‘cyberpussy.’ VVVVVV reassesses the idea of a 90s cyberspace utopia to ask how the web, now a disenchanted space, can work towards equality for its users.
Faith Holland is an artist and curator whose practice focuses on gender and sexuality’s relationship to the Internet. She received her BA in Media Studies at Vassar College and her MFA in Photography, Video, and Related Media at the School of Visual Arts. Her work has been exhibited at Elga Wimmer (New York), Axiom Gallery (Boston), the Philips Collection (Washington, D.C.), Xpo Gallery (Paris), and File Festival (São Paulo). Her work has been written about in The Sunday Times UK, Art F City, Hyperallergic, Animal New York, Artnet, The Creator’s Project, and Dazed Digital. She will have her first solo show at Transfer Gallery in 2015.