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Sabeen Chaudhry

Research project: Connecting // Disconnecting : ‘Millennial' Love Online

Abstract

What is ‘Millenial' love? What do trending hashtags, Tinder, ‘ghosting' and ‘usies' (or ‘couple selfies') have to do with it? This project interrogates the manner in which contemporary media technologies construct, subvert and constitute a fundamental aspect of, ‘Millennial' romantic sociality. I propose an expanded concept of ‘Millennial' that involves certain techno-cultural practices, but more aptly, describes an inescapable temporal mode where simultaneous guerrilla techno-temporalities generate oft-conflicting (romantic) affects. Using this concept of ‘Millennial', I investigate algorithmic mediation, platform capitalism, and social media / Internet aesthetics and (identity) politics in relation to ‘post-truth' era relationality, subjectivation and ‘couple identity'-formation. Oscillating between the experiential, the socio-cultural and the ontological, with a methodology that incorporates ethnographic and philosophical analysis; I reframe the age-old tension between difference and sameness, separateness and fusion, connection and alienation; placing it within the context of so-called contemporaneity. At a time when algorithms can purportedly ‘read' our emotional states, I specifically question how media technologies drive connection and disconnection, structuring ‘Millennial' love – how it is formed and felt, expressed and communicated.

Biography

I initially embarked on a career in Medicine, but following a change-of-heart, left medical school after graduating with a BSc (and intercalated Philosophy degree), to pursue a Master's in Contemporary Art Theory. I wrote my MA dissertation on syncope as micro-death within life, a becoming-object or process of unknowing; which prompted me to begin to consider another liminal phenomenon – love.

I also write fiction, with work recently published in Parasol: Journal of the Centre for Experimental Ontology and forthcoming in SALT Magazine (‘journal for feminism and contemporary art'). My work (sculptural object and text) is also currently featured in The Institute of Queer Ecology's multi-format ‘publication', Common Survival; which has exhibited at Prairie Gallery, Chicago and is currently exhibiting at Gas Gallery, LA.    

Areas of research interest

  • Affective Technologies
  • Algorithmic Mediation
  • Affect Theory
  • Deleuze & Guattari
  • Contemporary Media Aesthetics & Poetics
  • Post-Digital Art
  • Social Media / Internet Culture and Politics
  • 'Love Studies'
  • Speculative Fictions and Futurity
  • Popular Culture and Subculture

Qualifications

  • MA Contemporary Art Theory: Goldsmiths, University of London
  • BSc Philosophy with Basic Medical Sciences: King's College London
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