How can we experience physical intimacy in a virtual space? How does digital self-love look like? In Self—Love VRClinic, a hybrid and mechanical crying creature resembling the Capitoline she-wolf, a mythological creature standing for motherhood and care, approaches the user begging to be petted. In her digital solitude, she is unable to feed: she asks for the virtually disembodied user/ performer/ agent to be empathetic with her. The avatar, whose visage resembles the user's one, comes towards the user and floats for a while trough and around them. The user/ performer/ agent is fully disembodied in the virtual space, their default body is pure absence, a traceless phantasm. In order for the user/ performer/ agent to pet the avatar with the VRhands, they end up cuddling themselves with their own haptic hands in the analogue world. After a while the avatar goes away and the user has just to wait for it to come back again. A Self–Love Mantra is to be heard during the whole duration of the treatment and functions as a catalyst for creating a safe and reassuring psychic environment.

This performance based VRgame can be played while standing outdoor or laying in your own bed. Since the pandemic, it got more difficult and potentially dangerous to get physical affection from others and Self-Love got a new meaning and extent in our daily life. The immersive work Self—Love VRClinic deals with these questions speculating if the usually algid digital space could be used as a safe space for taking care of one's self-esteem and well-being. The idea is to create a personalized VRSpace where users/agents are able to cuddle themselves and so to produce oxytocin - the so-called »cuddle hormone« or »feel-good hormone«. The VRarchitecture is a glitched temple-pharmacy. A distorted texture of skeletal muscles gives haptic materiality to the pixellated virtual algidity. The submitted video is a recording of a Self-Love—Treatment Performance and functions as a hypothetical commercial for interested users/ agents in need of a Self-Love treatment. Self—Love VRClinic investigates the ecology of love while seeking for alternative ways of self- care in times of analogue fragility.

Exhibitions: Post-Humanism explained; online exhibition curated by Aram Bartholl
Stefano Dealessandri Works Info Imprint
Self—Love VRCliic VR App 2020