Barbie Grotesk Mord (2011)

by 1058814

After the end of a relationship, a girl is submitted to plastic surgery. Her imagination, however, plays the main role in the outcome of it, raising questions about the mass mind, the mediated mind, the computer as a narrator of the story and, ultimately, about how one feels towards oneself.

Full Description

A TV commercial opens the screen and a soundscore of computer noises overlaps the sound, going through the whole narrative. A Barbie doll is portrayed naked, and text on the screen resembles a diary of a girl that has recently ended a relationship, on a first person narration of a break up. On the following, text on the screen shows pondering about cosmetic surgery, and a list of procedures from a website. After that, text goes on in first person saying consciousness is fading on the surgery table, as anesthesia has its effect: all the images become blurry and showing computer errors (“glitches”) and blended with the TV commercial and an iron tool performing amputations on the doll. The film goes on with text in first person on the screen asking “the Doktor” to stop, as if in a nightmare. The film ends with the doll reconstituted, as awakened from the anesthesia state. The possibilities of glitch and merging character and medium in one single entity, an entity that by extension encompasses the viewer, relates to one of the great achievements that the digital world and Internet brought to us as human kind: the possibility that we are all the same creating force, and that the plurality of opinions is not solely a destructive duel of vectors, but rather a possible world of construction with Wiki, blogs and online user-generated content. It also signals for the part of the medium in the message, a concept that is being redefined in the end of the first decade. Kim Cascone argues that “the medium is no longer the message; specific tools themselves become the message” . The computer taking part in the narration and merging with the character signals to this matter, as well as to the post-human question: what is the machine, if not us?

Work metadata

  • Year Created: 2011
  • Submitted to ArtBase: Friday Feb 11th, 2011
  • Original Url:
  • Work Credits:
    • Sérgio Tavares, primary creator
    • Jaroslaw Kirstenovski, sound artist
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