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Systaime’s SexCam Datamosh Music Video “Decontextualization”


12.02.13 Marina Galperina

This is French artist Michaël Borras a.k.a. Systaime‘s new music video for Telepopmusik’s “Fever.” It’s sourced from screen-recordings of “a well-known adult webcam chat site,” sputtering with pixels. Mostly, it captures the in-betweens — girls sitting down, girls leaving, empty rooms, hesitant moments. There’s nudity. Ok, there are BREASTS — but it’s all very passive. They’re not aimed. It’s mild, circumstantial.

“The concept of this video is to show the arrival of the models in an empty space,” Systaime tells ANIMAL. “This is to show the errors of the flux and the human, since the vacuum is not part of the culture of this kind of site. Flux, waiting, loading, desires, patience, fantasy…”

Systaime’s alternate version is much more minimal. It’s mostly empty sexcam hosting rooms and waiting. Instantly, it all reminded me of F.A.T. artists Addie Wagenknecht and Pablo Garcia‘s brbxoxo.com, released earlier this Fall and capturing empty rooms like that, of light passing over unmade beds and sex toys slumped abandoned in the corner — a project Systaime says he hasn’t seen before: “I LOVE IT! We work on the same trip!” But there was a minimal, sterile voyeurism to brbxoxo.com. Systaime’s is a lot more fetishistic. He’s worked with isolated silences, with pauses, with awkward staged webcam exchanges as appropriated elements of that culture, but he’s also just clearly obsessed with sexcams. A year ago, he asked dozens of sexcam performers to tell him they love him — “work of persuasion and patience,” he’s said.

His previous music videos — like Asia Argento’s “Sexodrome” and “Cheval Blanc ♡” by the OR†IES — made his particular deliberate digital defects a trademark, but the models are still recognizable. It’s not the first time sexcam performers unwittingly end up in projects, and yet… Is this one exploitative?

“It’s a tribute to these women!” Systaime insists. “This is a decontextualization as a readymade dadaiste.”

…?