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Cheryl Sourkes
From May 10th 2008 to June 14th 2008
Webcams + Chatrooms

The images and movies in "Webcams + Chatrooms" are selections from live-stream, Internet-based cameras. During the last decade I’ve put together bodies of work with material generated by street cams, chapel cams, traffic cams, tourist cams, workplace cams, home cams and cameras mounted in cybernet cafés. I find the reading of this ephemeral imagery transforms within the reflexive context of the gallery.

While webcams record in the real world, they transmit in the virtual one. At the same time presence in the virtual realm may engender real-world consequences. In addition to the relation between the real and the virtual, I’m also fascinated by the connection between behaving and acting. It seems anyone with a webcam may become an actor,producer, exhibitionist, pornographer, cinematographer, whatever. Because webcams are ubiquitous and record continuously people don’t perform for them in the same way they do for other types of cameras. Instead, action seems to spring from some semi-conscious place between ordinary behaviour and premeditated performance.

"Webcams + Chatrooms" presents activities such as showering, sex and hanging out; without a fourth wall. "Big-brother" type surveillance plays less of a role in the realm of webcams than one might imagine, way less in fact than does self-surveillance. Snoops don’t post these images. Participants do. Webcams inspired the creation of reality television. Have they also generated a new documentary form where reality comes mixed with virtuality and day-to-day behavior fuses with performance?
- Cheryl Sourkes

Cheryl Sourkesis a lens-based, digital artist, writer and contemporary curator. She grew up in Montreal, had her professional formation in Vancouver and now lives and works in Toronto and Manchester, England. For the last three years she has curated the project space at Akau. Cheryl Sourkes is represented by Peak Gallery in Toronto.