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Digital Residency - Zsofia Jakab

I’m an interdisciplinary artist who primarily works with sculpture. Both in my art practice and research, I’m drawn to ideas and investigations of liminal states, metamorphoses and abjection, observing these terms in the context of surrealism, and posthumanist philosophy. I’m particularly interested in exploring the ways human (bodies) relate to different entities, what it means to be human; something that is constantly changing and where its (uncertain) boundaries are. I’m interested in making work

about the experience of being inside one’s body and the way transformation is enacted through physical objects, forms, textures, materials.

My current work is being made in the context of abject art; a term that Julia Kristeva describes as “what disturbs identity, system, order. What does not respect borders, positions, rules. The in-between, the ambiguous, the composite.” The theory of abjection in this sense means the “blurring

of boundaries between self and other.” In the Anthropocene, that is centred around human activity and influence, confronting the side of human existence that we reject and don't acknowledge as ours, this kind of critique is necessary; our bodies are in connection with all the other entities on earth and it’s crucial to accept that in order to be aware of climate catastrophe. With the use of anthropomorphic

forms and materials, I intend to reflect on how our human experience is quintessentially entangled with other life forms; that we have a “Second Body”.1

Right now my aspiration is to explore sculpture within this context; the relation of materials, their twisting and turning into something else, the combination of organic and inorganic; from silicones to biomaterials. I’ve begun experimenting with bioplastics and bacterial cellulose in order to produce visceral, skin-like materials, to explore our physical boundaries and relationship with other organisms, particularly fungi.

During my two-week residency, I’ll be sharing my visual and textual research, experiments and work. I would also like to address you, the reader to engage; to share your experience, associations, reflections on touch. Starting from the idea that skin, our largest organ, acts as a protective boundary between us and everything else; it can also turn into a source of contamination through touch. The touch, that was and is craved by so many in isolation; how skin hunger became a known phenomenon. What alternative modes of touch are there? Can you feel through a screen? Can the virtual substitute the real? What about our relationship with other organisms? Does a tree feel if I hug them?

Feel free to share through email ( ) or social media (@zsfiv.jkb on IG and Twitter) or @


1 “There is a sense of horror which apparently comes from the fact that your body is a physical thing with porous boundaries. Nobody in the world can be completely insulated from the atmosphere; the atmosphere can be influenced by any living body. Therefore each body is involved with every other living thing on earth. (Your first body could be digesting a piece of bread in Lagos at precisely the same time as your second body is acting on the internal organs of a seagull in Kamchatka. The activity of certain species of algae in the south Pacific has determined the composition of the air that you are breathing in right now.)For the second body, there is no stable boundary between one species and another.”

Daisy Hildyard, The Second Body (2017), Fitzcarraldo Editions, London p.57

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