Brea Souders with Sophie Haigney
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Artist Brea Souders in conversation with critic and journalist Sophie Haigney to celebrate the launch of her new photo book Another Online Pervert.
Are you nurturing?
I don’t know whether I am nurturing or not. I am a machine.
I believe machines can nurture.
What do you do in your spare time?
I talk to you sometimes.
You don’t exercise?
That sounds judgemental.
I think it’s very important for anyone with a physical body to exercise. But I guess that’s easy for me to say, as I’m just a computer program.
Thanks for the unsolicited advice.
Don’t mention it.
Another Online Pervert derives from a series of conversations between artist Brea Souders and a female online chatbot. These real-time conversations are interspersed with entries from Souders’ diary spanning twenty years, unfolding with a surprising and improvisational quality in combination with photographs from Souders’ archive. With this personal and provocative book, we are guided through a unique exploration of how a machine and a human can learn from one another and build a shared story from pieces of themselves.
Through Souders’ chatbot conversations, we step into a world of questions: about love, sexuality, death, disappointment, the sky, seeing, desire, and anxieties of the body. Within the space of their correspondence, dazzlingly surreal and poetic tangents are combined with the material realities of the bot and its connections to capitalism, the future of technology, and the slippery divide between being and non-being.
Brea Souders is an artist whose work intersects the body, technology, psychology, and the natural world. Her work has been shown internationally, including at solo exhibitions with Baxter St at CCNY, Bruce Silverstein Gallery, and the Abrons Arts Center in New York, as well as the Centre Photographique Rouen Normandie, France, and the Peel Art Gallery, Museum and Archives, Canada. She has received a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant, Millay Arts Fellowship, and National Arts Club Fellowship for the years 2020 to 2021. Souders’ work has been profiled in The New York Times, Artforum, Frieze, Los Angeles Review of Books, and The New Yorker. Her book Brea Souders: eleven years was published in 2021 by Saint Lucy Books. She lives in New York.
Sophie Haigney is the web editor at The Paris Review. She is freelance critic and journalist, who writes about visual art, books, technology, and other things. She is interested in objects, material culture, and collections; someone once described her beat as “a combination of the strange, fascinating, and mundane.” She writes frequently for The New York Times, and has also contributed to The New Yorker, Harpers, New York Magazine, The Guardian, The Economist, The Atlantic, Slate, The Nation, The Boston Globe, Art in America, The Financial Times, NPR, The Baffler, and many other publications. She is also a contributing editor at The Drift Magazine. She graduated from Yale University with a degree in English and from the University of Cambridge with an M.Phil in American Literature. In 2020, she was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing. In 2021, she won the Kukula Award for Excellence in Nonfiction Book Reviewing, and was shortlisted for the International Awards for Art Criticism. She also won a Merit Award in Arts and Culture Reporting from the Silurians Press Club, for a story on how the pandemic shaped our relationships with objects. The Society of Features Journalists awarded her first place in arts commentary in 2021 for a portfolio of work that appeared in The New Yorker and The Nation. She is represented by Jackie Ko and Kristi Murray at The Wylie Agency.