Eric Self is a character that will enable me to use performance art to research gender identity in the post-internet era, in which the internet has become the material, subject and aesthetic.
The online culture of avatars, chat forums, dating apps and political petitions have affected the ways in which we construct and perform identity, create communities and communicate political concerns. These contemporary modes of shaping individual identity and larger societies has dramatically shifted the matrix of gender identity. It has also created a new platform for performance art. The methodology for my practice-led research will be structured within a concept album, written and performed by Eric Self. The album will include live spoken word performances, online performances, video works, and text. As an anthropomorphised animal character Eric will enable me to investigate a unique method of rethinking gender narratives. Can Eric implode our perception of how to relate to our bodies and reconstruct an original way of performing gender? Do our attitudes to animals effect our opinion of what it is to be human? Can Eric disrupt the androcentric, patriarchal structures which influence gender definitions? Eric is ready and would like to find out.