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Artist Statement

My work examines the intersection of psychoanalysis, media theory, and alienation arising out of a contemporary milieu that blurs the demarcations between physical and virtual, child and adult, process and outcome. It is an alienation arising from an increasingly disjunctive relationship between expectations of the mind and experiences of the body; a dichotomy accentuated by internet use, contemporary entertainment, and late-capitalist paradigms. I have arrived at my interdisciplinary art practice through my experience with a form of metaphysical alienation called depersonalization – a state of detachment where one's body, thoughts, and feelings seem unreal, artificial, or as not belonging to oneself. The depersonalized individual is divested of their typical emotional and perceptual faculties wherein an inability to place the self into context gives way to psychological vertigo. The depersonalized state is a rich example of coping mechanisms for unstable, twenty-first-century orientations to the self, spatial relationships, time, and emotion. The work has found a suitable home in virtual reality and computer-generated video to explore these concepts. Familiar environments are made strange through their conversion to a virtualized form and an exaggeration of their properties allowed by their digitality: a grocery store is evermore vibrant and organized, an escalator ride never ends, a virtual dentist administers too much laughing gas. The viewer and the art work are linked by their mirroring of one another – and in fact occupy the same space in the real and virtual environment – thereby increasing believability, disorientation, and affect.

Instagram: @unitystartup

Website: billyfoshay.co

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Artwork by Billy Foshay - queue refrain (still)
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Single-Channel Video with Sound. 12 Minutes, 13 Seconds Loop. 2020.
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Single-Channel Video with Sound. 12 Minutes, 13 Seconds Loop. 2020.
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Virtual Reality. 7 Minutes, 50 Seconds. 2020.
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Artwork by Billy Foshay - hygienics against a noisy death (still)
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Virtual Reality. 7 Minutes, 50 Seconds. 2020.
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Artwork by Billy Foshay - hygienics against (mock-up)
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Video Installation. 2020. In response to hygienic concerns over donning a virtual reality headset in a gallery space, "hygienics against a noisy death" is in the process of being reworked as a video installation. The installation situates an additional motion refrain in the gallery that serves as an extension of "queue refrain".
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Artwork by Billy Foshay - hygienics against a noisy death (stairs)
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Video Installation. 2020.