DISTRACTED BODIES Rebecca Wood, Culture Lab, AUT/Auckland University of Technology, Aotearoa/NZ. Amanda Newall, LICA/Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts Lancaster University UK. performed at SCANZ the Govett Brewster Art Gallery NZ/Aotearoa The work explores the relationship between local(ised) and global(ised) transactions and their re/formation and re/presentation in concurrent cultural sites. Put in more terms, the work takes place by means of digital interfaces overlapped through actions by performers whose cognate costumes makes differences of identity and site interchangeable and yet culturally awry. Chat rooms are indeed a dialogic model and ideational reservoir for the intercultural dialectics and intimate exchange value for the work Distracted Bodies. In an extended sense of Goffman’s framed self, the artists propose to create an imaginary environment for people to meet and exchange experiences. These are identities that take reference from the world around us in physical space as well as an imagined space to the degree that new physical features are appliquéd that only resembles the known body (cf., e.g., animalistic images below). The invented bodies will be accommodated and come alive in various different sites and countries. They will inhabit the sites and communicate back and forth through sound and body language that takes the form of disrupted dance. The effect of the work inclines toward the performatively absurd and perceptibly uncanny. It aims to enact approaches to the screen as applied plastic surgery where a surface reality can be made to stand in for another’s face or function as a cover for the actual. Negotiated through the modality of screen appearances, the manipulative presentation of selves can substitute new flesh for real flesh. Ontological escape lines cut across phantasmatic limits, transforming clear demarcations into fluid spaces of indeterminate but prospective transitions and reconstructions.