Viatrix’s androgyny blurs all attempts at definition – primordial but pioneering, radiant but ravenous; with a touch that melts institutions and destroys archaic worlds.
Viatrix was nurtured into existence by Harriet Davey, as an ‘Unidentified Fluid Other’ to guide us. These in-game cutscenes mark our progress as Viatrix makes their way through a story parallel to our own. This is a moment to pause between levels, where writer Julia-Beth Harris (the mind behind the exhibition title) helps us to soak in our new knowledge in a chat room of glittering riddles and poetry. This knowledge is translated, transcribed and uploaded to your mind as the warmth in her sage voice percolates the skin. For the soundscape, Imogen Davey samples water drops and dial-up internet noise – at each new stage, her alien and yet familiar sounds return. Each encounter is slightly different from the last – like you, the soundtrack is evolving. This ambient collage of natural and synthetic noise tempts you ever further along the path.
Harriet Davey incubates avatars in such a way that their growth phase might never be contaminated by the binary of gender. Having self-taught many of their skills through free online resources, Davey assembles and warps digital ready-mades of human forms. This is a conscious reimagining of character creation and an exploration of the countless potentials of anatomy in virtual space. Harriet Davey probes the ugly and the beautiful – an undertaking that began at the character building stage of video games. Historically, game design has been infused with the male gaze – leading to caricaturish imagings of oversexualised or ‘ideal’ bodies. Viatrix’s existence is important: it shows what happens when the power to self-define is returned to video gamers and visitors of the metaverse. This in-game inclusivity stretches into the public domain – promoting inclusivity, diversity and representation. The hierarchy of designer/culture and player/individual that dictates final forms can dissolve. Having guided you through a wetland world shrouded in haze, Viatrix asks only that you remember this encounter as you re-enter the outside world.
Harriet Davey | b. 1997, UK
Harriet Davey (She/They) is a 3D Artist, Graphic Designer, and AR creator based across London and Berlin. Obsessed with questioning what it means to be fluid and human in a digital world: her work examines and interrogates the ugly and the beautiful; the maximum and the minimum; the online and the offline.
Imogen Davey | b. 1999, UK
Imogen Davey is a composer and musician based in London, England. Imogen’s compositions encourage the audience to question the boundary of electronic and acoustic sound. Her work deals with contrasts between processed and unprocessed material, and human and machine collaboration. As a classically trained flautist, Imogen’s compositions often focus heavily on music for flute, but she is equally interested in writing for different combinations of acoustic instruments, electronics, and live electronics.
Julia-Beth Harris | b. 1987, South Africa
Julia-Beth Harris is a writer and performer of creative texts. Born in Cape Town, as the youngest of a lively family, her first role was that of observer. Crafting this attentiveness into a lifelong compulsion to express and document led to form-giving studies in Graphic and Fashion Design. Translating this visual aesthetic to her writing, her words form a series of images in the gallery of the mind. Arising from a place of inherent listening and child-like wonder, Julia-Beth develops an emotional connection with the work, shaping ideas into poetry, creative texts and reading performances in the context of collective consciousness.