ERROR (collaboration with artist and programmer Yuri Pavlov, web-desiner Sergey Sergienko and model Liliya Charras)

Mariia Kokunova

2020 - 2021

Paranoid psychosis is personality itself.

Jacques Lacan

ERROR project is an attempt to present a subject of new flat ontologies with many perspectives and to compare this experience with the phenomenon of a mental disorder classified as a schizophrenic spectrum psychosis (a combination of symptoms of manic-depressive psychosis and schizophrenia) and the experience of a modern subject of the late capitalist era.

The phenomena under study have in common: the dominance of speculative Self over practical Self and the impossible experience - a combination of

2 opposite temporal modes simultaneously - stasis (with schizophrenia) and speed (with psychosis). This phenomenon can often be seen in when a modern subject is using a computer or a smartphone: the body is static, but consciousness is in a dynamic regime, the syndrome of phantom vibrations, ADHD, hyperstimulation.

The woman in my project is a volunteer in a scientific experiment carried out by a team of philosophers, biologists, linguists, and cybernetics. But the experiment has gone out of control, run amok. Suddenly my heroine realizes that she was terribly wrong to think of herself as a self-sufficient person. That is her error code She actually has been a part of the relationships with multiple subjects that affect each other. As a result of a transgressive experience, the core of her former identity starts to decay. A shift in the reality alters the perception of time and space, her body boundaries are not obstacles for her anymore. Her thought gets embedded into a computer code. Her new identity represents a continuously changing entity; its organic, inorganic, and cybernetic components continuously move and rearrange, and finally get blended into a general flow of semiosis.

I work in the auto-fiction genre and create a fiction character, reassembling my personal experience (self-isolation for five years and online-life mainly) and a similar experience of a close friend who was diagnosed with the similar symptoms. In shooting we act as models, use personal belongings and the space of my house as a location. With the help of my friends-programmers who share the idea of the project, I artistically rethink the computer code: each phrase - “symptom” of the heroine * - is framed by the current code, which is connected with them through the plot and design, the logic of the function corresponds to the meaning of the phrase: stop, break - schizophrenia; recursion, looping, etc. - psychosis.

The project has a form of a website includes digital photography narrative - - and supplemented by a “thought feed” - By clicking on a photo with a “note-code” on the first site, there is a “failure” in the consciousness of the heroine. I chose the feed interface as the main marker of the modern form of information consumption.

This format to my mind represents the idea of blending consciousness with the code - individual and collective unconscious. I speculatively do not regard my heroine's state as sickness or deviation, but as a condition of maximum involvement, capability to establish a direct link with the Real.


* Examples are taken from the work of E. Minkowski Schizophrenia: The Psychopathology of Schizoids and Schizophrenics

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