@RealSelfCindy is the third video presented within the program RABBIT HOLE, the fourth edition of DIGITAL VIDEO WALL, an annual project structured in thematic chapters, aimed at promoting the dissemination and experimentation of digital art.

The third screening will feature the work of Katie Torn,@RealSelfCindy (2016, VIDEO, MP4). Torn’s practice can be described as an assemblage of elements available online and digital waste material that, in her works, are transformed into virtually simulated scenes from the debris of the internet and consumer culture. The artist uses computer graphics and 3D videos to shape visual patchworks that encapsulate glimpses of Internet culture. Her visual collages recall surrealist oneiric imagery, in which organic and synthetic matter, human, plants and animal bodies combine to create new realities and new individual subjects. In her works we find mini horses from My Little Pony, Barbies and varied dolls, illustrations reminiscent of Fornasetti’s faces, all mixed and mingled with digital assets and animations that make Katie Torn’s works a milieu of media and subjects. As the artist herself states about her practice, «My work offers a vision of a new kind of ‘natural’ substance that originates in the virtual and blends organic and synthetic materials». Her imaginary landscapes open the doors to a new kind of individuality, which unfolds in the depths of the many digital platforms we inhabit. Her artistic investigation reflects on the concept of digital identity, and her personal portraits apply Instagram-like filters to her face and body, generating a thousand ever-changing faces, with eyes, mouths noses, breasts, hair, originating from an identity jigsaw puzzle.
Katie Torn also reflects on contemporary capitalist culture by including in her installations “leftovers of the capitalist world,” garbage, plumbing pipes, fragments of advertisements, and technological waste in a visual chaos that investigates the environmental drift we have arrived at but also the human impulse to accumulate, inside and outside our digital worlds.

@RealSelfCindy is a series of 6 videos commissioned by DAATA Editions in 2016 in which the artist examines her body and persona through a series of filters that deform her face and body by adding plant details such as flowers, plants, wings, exotic fruits, in an almost carnivalesque portrait that is very reminiscent of the decompositions of cubist subjects. Katie Torn experiments with her different personalities in front of the camera, just like when we play with Instagram filters to change our features. In this enchanting universe where reality and virtuality meet, the human subject and their avatar immerse themselves in a visual space-time continuum to trace the boundaries of a personality spread across different but at the same time complementary digital platforms. The facial filters Katie Torn applies to herself underscore the potential of the self to multiply without limits to “play with one’s identity and try on new ones,” as Sherry Turkle puts it. Through them, the subject is declined into numerous avatars that change their appearance each time according to the mood of the subject who experiments with themselves.
@RealSelfCindy displays a series of the artist’s self-portraits conveyed by different deformations and alterations of her appearance, a mode of self-representation that goes beyond pure appearance to investigate how through filters it is possible to expose the different perceptions and facets that make up one’s persona.

© Katie Torn, @RealSelfCindy, 2016, courtesy the artists


Katie Torn | @RealSelfCindy
Digital Video Wall
Metronom | via Carteria 10 | 41121 Modena
10 gennaio – 7 febbraio 2023


© Katie Torn, @RealSelfCindy, 2022, DVW, Installation View, Metronom, Modena (IT)

© Katie Torn, @RealSelfCindy, 2022, DVW, Installation View, Metronom, Modena (IT)