NEoN Digital Arts Archive

Illustration by Ailie Rutherford

REWIRED: THE INTERNET OF US

Shannon McRae

Shannon McRae created a text and image piece, asking what does it mean to be a queer woman on the Internet? What does it mean to be sexual, and sexually expressive, in an environment where we interact only as representations of ourselves, in a maze of representations that routinely diminish us?

How do we shape, express, and honour identities and sexualities that are marginalized both in the real world and online? What is the language through which we create ourselves, and express who we are and what we desire?

What does it mean to simply wish to exist, much less transgress repressive norms of gender, race and sexual conduct, particularly when doing may incite violence?

This project is a conversation, in images and words, with marginalized and transgressive women: including non-binary, genderqueer, trans women, sex workers, women in various BD/SM communities, about shaping an internet presence, speaking for oneself, and the process of self-creation. It focuses particularly on questions of access and accessibility. Who gets to be in virtual space? Who gets a say in what it looks like, and how we are supposed to look and behave? What do we gain, and what are the costs?

About the Artist

Shannon McRae is an American Professor of English and Director of Film Studies at the State University of New York at Fredonia. She teaches literature, film, mythology, religion, queer theory, and popular culture. She is interested in bodies, pleasures, the semi-permeability of the boundaries by which we customarily define self and other, technologies of ecstasy, and tracing the cultural stories that instruct humanity in their use. She is currently writing a book about non-mainstream religions, spiritual tourism, and pop-culture paganism in Jazz Age America.

Image Credit: Illustration by Ailie Rutherford

The article by Shannon McRae can be found here