Hybrid Box, Hellerau Europäisches Zentrum der Künste
June - July 2022
Hurt/Comfort is a series of confessional vignettes: The Character, The Camera, Fandom, and To Trade Places. The video imagines the live-stream as the contemporary confession booth. The streamer, while playing Elden Ring, attempts to speak to an invisible audience, however, something has gone wrong; the streamer’s image has been distorted. The confessions are spoken from a place of subconsciousness as the streamer watches helplessly, frozen behind a gaussian blur. A chat dialogue comforts the streamer during the ordeal, appearing to sympathize with her condition. Eventually, the chat dialogue manifests as a second avatar in the game, and the two “trade places.” On the opposite screen is a written account of the events, synced to the moment they occur. Originally, “Hurt/comfort” is a genre of fanfiction in which pain is inflicted on a character so that they might be rehabilitated, usually by their counterpart or romantic partner. In the interest of deconstructing the self, the chat and livestreamer relationship stands as a sort of mix between socratic dialogue and hurt/comfort fanfiction.