Michaël Borras aka Systaime is a French network and multimedia artist, founder of the movement French Trash Touch. Working with found web materials Systaime plays with internet and art, producing work that reveals the trashy culture of our online lives. Yet, it is love that always accompanies his systemic manipulations. He completely embraces our interactions in this networked environment with their superficial and narcissistic desires that define our public performances online. With patience and love he pulls out moments of vulnerability which occasionally are laid bare by temporal synchronisity of monotony, technology, absence/presence, before they all become part of a performance.
I’m Back is an online performance where sex cams are caught at the moment when the person comes back to the screeen.
According to Systaime ‘intimacy is a dream reality, that is reality that we choose to create.’ In an interview over Facebook messanger, Systaime tells me that the ability to capture all of our lives all the time dissolves intimacy, and it becomes ‘ex/timacy’ that is intimacy for show. With this statment I am wondering about his other work Systaime, I love you (2012). Here, the sex cam workers are recorded saying into the camera ‘Systaime, I love you’ . Are these declarations a record of a particular intimacy that is the result of the artist talking to the models? This is more of an online encouter rather then part of a sex cam session. The exchange is free, as in gratis. It is a social interaction and not part of a business exchange. Does the fact that this is not business make it real? Not necessarily a declaration of love, but a declaration of real intimacy and an exposure of intimacy that is not pretend?
But, to resurrect intimacy from the depths of extimacy world is not really the point for Systaime. The idea is to play with internet, as it plays with us when it has deceived/is deceiving our sense of privacy, security and protection from the public eye. Without judging why we keep surrendering our intimacy by exposing our lives on internet (although he suggests that it might be because we want to forget reality), he suggest that we play with internet and the false sense of privacy and intimacy that it gives us. The only way to save ourselves is to use internet for our games.
This article is based on an ongoing interview/conversation with Systaime and Miyo Van Stenis about their collaborative work Internet Lovers Part 2 ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ Naked Flux (more about that work soon). Huge thank you to both artists for making time to talk to me.