Blind Date, Research-creation project

Salon: DATA V, Eastern Bloc Gallery, Montreal, and JOURNEES DE LA CULTURE, Montreal,  2012

Blind Date is an interactive performance centered on the issues of intimacy in consumerist culture. Questioning the limits of individual self and aiming at overcoming the constraints on emotional self-expression the performance creates the provocative environment of blatant emotionality and physical availability of the performer to the audience and the audience to the performer. Inspired by the content and structure of dating websites Blind Date reconstructs the context of the first date with a potential partner promoted and encouraged in contemporary culture of dating networks. 
Based on the qualitative and quantitative research of users’ profiles from numerous dating websites the performance aims to represent the figure of the ultimate lover that embodies the collective desire for perfect intimacy. Mediated through the network of dating websites the ultimate lover personality is a collective fantasy encouraged by the context of social networking. Anonymity and safety of second-life communication provides the users of dating websites with the unique possibility to create idealistic personalities defined by personal and cultural expectations for an ideal romance. At the same time auser friendly format of the dating websites similar to on-line supermarkets promotes the attitude of consumer sovereignty that reduces the users of the website to consumerist products.  The fabricated figure of ideal lover represents a bizarre mixture of consumerist stereotypes on masculinity and femininity, individual standards on intimate relationships and utopian desire for a perfect match. The juxtaposition of consumerism and romanticism creates a unique type of dating culture in which intimacy borders with alienation and emotional openness is constraint by rational choice. (Photo: Emily Gan)