Nadja Verena Marcin
#SOPHYGRAY – A Feminist Voice Bot
As part of the Vorspiel 2024 of the transmediale and CTM, alpha nova & galeria futura presents the solo exhibition #SOPHYGRAY – A Feminist Voice Bot, the Berlin premiere of a three-year project by visual artist Nadja Verena Marcin. In collaboration with more than 40 collaborators, the voice bot SOPHY9000 was trained to hold conversations about identity, art and feminism.
#SOPHYGRAY answers questions in a surprising, philosophical, and humorous way from various feminist perspectives. Her constantly growing and moderated knowledge base disseminates transnational intersectional feminist thinking and theory. Because whoever talks to #SOPHYGRAY shapes her and teaches her new knowledge. Using philosophical quotations from bell hooks, Donna Haraway, Silvia Federici, Audre Lorde, Anna Lowenhaupt-Tsing, Legacy Russell, and others, the conversational capabilities of the audio bot are continuously developed by Nadja Verena Marcin and a team of changing transnational writers.
In doing so, #SOPHYGRAY creates counter-narratives to thwart gendered attributions and stereotypes embedded in today’s technologies. #SOPHYGRAYchallenges assumptions about so called virtual assistants and their feminine-sounding voices that often reinforce stereotypical gender roles, and power hierarchies reflecting the patriarchal culture that developed them. She places female philosophers of the 20th and 21st centuries at the center of the exhibition in order to provide constructive suggestions for living together in our society.
Workshop by Nadja Verena Marcin
Saturday 27.1.24 // 13:00-16:00 with Coffee & Snacks
free of charge
registration until 25.1.24: firstname.lastname@example.org
In the Feminist Write-A-Thon workshop with Nadja Verena Marcin, the artist will give a content-related and technical introduction to the audio bot #SOPHYGRAY that she has trained. Participants will learn how to create their own entries for the chat bot, which will become a permanent part of #SOPHYGRAY‘s knowledge base and can then be experienced in the exhibition.
Named after the South African artist and architect Sophy Gray (1814-71), the audio bot has a constantly growing library of feminist literature. Participants are invited to train it with very different strands of knowledge. In addition to creative-free contributions, excerpts from recently published texts such as “Glitch Feminism: A Manifesto” (2020) by activist, curator and author Legacy Russell or “Why we matter: The End of Oppression” (2021) by political scientist, activist and expert on intersectionality Emilia Roig can also be read.
#SOPHYGRAY: A Feminist Voice Bot
Performance by Nadja Verena Marcin
3.2.2024 // 18:00
In the performance, artist Nadja Verena Marcin takes up feminist conversations between #SOPHYGRAY and the exhibition visitors and brings them back into the space in a playful live performance. Alternating with the discursive speech, two dancers – Lena Strützke and Yumi Kuwabara, accompanied by selected music from the film Metropolis (1927) – traverse the exhibition space as new embodiments of the two Metropolis figures. The audience is confronted with the juxtaposition of feminist values and physically armored female bodies in full dance flow, which take over the space and invite us on a journey.
The exhibition and workshop take place in the frame of Vorspiel 2024 of transmediale and CTM and are part of the series [Digital] Present Feminist Futures.
Nadja Verena Marcin is a Berlin and New York-based visual artist, filmmaker, researcher and lecturer who explores gender, history, morality, psychology and human behavior through an intersectional analysis of feminism. By transforming source material from literature, philosophy, art and pop culture into thought-provoking encounters, she addresses ecological and human rights concerns. Her work subverts representations of women in contemporary and historical contexts to reveal ideological systems of power and psychological effects in their creation.
Her work has been presented worldwide at SCHAUWERK Sindelfingen, Gropius Bau (Berlin), ZKM (Karlsruhe), Museum Ludwig (Cologne), Onassi Stegi (Athens), Ars Electronica (Linz), Berkeley Art Museum and ICA Philadelphia. Marcin has received awards from Ars Electronica (Linz), Stiftung Kunstfonds (Bonn), Fulbright and DAAD and is a guest lecturer at the University of Potsdam. Her work has been featured in VICE, HuffPost and Artnet News.
Thus far, #SOPHYGRAY has resided at the Ars Electronica in Linz, at the Kunstverein Ruhr in Essen, at the WRO Biennale in Wroclaw, at the Digitalvilla in Potsdam and will also be presented at KUNSTRAUM and Space776 in New York in January 2024. The project was recently awarded the European Union Prize for Citizen Science Honorary Mention by Ars Electronica in September 2023.
We are indebted to our sponsors: #SOPHYGRAY is made possible by the EMAP residency at Onassis Stegi, co-funded by Creative Europe program of the European Union, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature, the Ministry of Culture North Rhine-Westphalia, NEUSTART KULTUR by the German Federal Culture Commissioner, Stiftung Kunstfonds in Bonn as well as sponsored by IT company Novatec. The artwork is fiscally sponsored by the New York Foundation for the Arts.