Yiorgis Sakellariou. Navigating in the Multiverse: Possibilities and Limitations of Creative Practices in Online Environments

This paper will explore the connection between artistic practices and digital networks. Currently, and especially since the breakout of the Covid-19 pandemic, there has been an increase in online concerts, talks and even artist residencies. Moreover, museums and galleries offer virtual tours of their exhibitions. This growing amount of online content is viewed as a promise of widening access to cultural, educational and creative opportunities and a suggestion to escape from the limitations and boundaries of time and physical distance.

Nonetheless, practitioners, curators and art aficionados are urgently compelled to critically analyze, doubt and challenge this promise of limitless possibilities that the online world is offering. In this era of digital information, what expectations does a virtual artwork raise? What is its functionality and social value? How do the disembodiment and technological displacement of human beings shape and affect their cultural and communal bonding? Can an artist’s work exist outside the World Wide Web?

To find some answers, Yiorgis Sakellariou will reflect on his own artistic experiences of creating works that are designed to be experienced via online platforms and using digital interactive tools. A primary analytical tool will be the phenomenological concept of the lived body as well as socio- anthropological arguments about time and materiality. He does not seek to create a fixed and dogmatic theory but to negotiate how, and if, artistic practice can have a pivotal role in the virtual world.

Yiorgis Sakellariou is an electroacoustic music composer, recordist and researcher. He completed his PhD at Coventry University in 2018. His research drew inspiration from ethnomusicological and anthropological contexts and explored the sonic symbolism and socio-aesthetic settings in ecstatic religious rituals in relation to field recording, electroacoustic composition and acousmatic performance. His practice focuses on the communal experience of listening and the communication between composer, audiences, performance spaces and the rest of the physical and supernatural world.