cinematic video
In the brain, the amygdala is the “house of fear”, almond-shaped, container of crude flashes. It codes violent memory intosmall film-still doses, activated by random triggers, like freeze frames, poorly seen, but powerful in effect. Post-traumatic stress afflicts those who witness terror and sustain abuse. Forget, just for a moment, by a willing suspension of disbelief, that there is no place behind the screen. Allow yourself the fantasy of atopic space….where topologies, though drawn with the vectors of Cartesian geometries,are at best provisional. Access is through an improvisation, or performance, on the part of the traveller through a smashed space.

Naxsmash is a cyborg’s utopia. She is everywhere and nowhere, she is the stand in for the chora (the inbetween place between the speech act and the space of power). The electronic landscape is she who wants to speak, she cannot speak, her gestures resonate, her skin is radiant, she disappears into transparent layerings. I make naxsmash to recover speech, to make an aesthetic and ethical action from inside a space of x, where I am nowhere, nobody, nascent, smashed. In the world of naxsmash, I am no longer a woman, a human, but rather a place, of x, a place without subject. I make naxsmash as a way of communicating through artistic language when words failed me, as I struggle with the aftereffects of personal trauma involving sexual and emotional abuse. I do not speak of what had happened, I could not breathe. By being nowhere, in utopia space, I could make Naxsmash. Transistory and improvised, naxsmash, like the net, is a playspace on the sensation of presence ‘behind’ the screen. The name recalls birth (nascence)and destruction (smashing).

The Naxsmash project includes multimedia installation, video installation, video, performance, net art, and writing. Installations are adapted and modified by and for the space and use of each public site where it is staged Live performance installations of naxsmash change with each new venue, from video labs to festivals, nightclubs and a repurposed streetcar station. Since 2001, I’ve created versions of naxsmash at: Vancouver, BC, Canada (Moonbase Gallery and "Digitalis: Concerning the Spiritual in Digital Art," 2001) ; Digital Studio/California Museum of Photography, 2002; Melbourne, Australia (DIgital Arts and Culture Conference, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, 2003) ; Weimar, Germany (Deutsches Nationaltheatre / Bauhaus University / with back-up festival of new media and film, 2003 http://naxsmash.net/nax/naxsmashloungelab.html SelectMedia Festival, Chicago, 2003; San Francisco Performance Cinema Symposium, 2003. Architectural design students collaborated for “Naxsmash: Global Poetry at the Powerhouse”, at California Polytechnic State University Department of Architecture, 2001 and 2002 http://naxsmash.net/nax/naxsmashmedialab.html.


View works from the Naxsmash project >>


(an)Architecture, Eros, Memory: the Naxsmash Project
By: Christina McPhee
Consciousness Reframed
Slipstreaming the Cyborg
Interview between McPhee and De Nicolò