New Criticals

Many artists and art workers (including myself) then corresponded with her to gain her trust. We “joined” her, and went on to play, speak and act through her, giving expression to the ideas, impulses, opinions and responses, she inspired in us. A torrent of provocative, poetic, and often contradictory voices issued proclamations, made auto portraits, and shared psalm-like meditations on her existential transformation; distributed across online platforms and social spaces, in text, image and video.

What gave the phenomenon greater punch was that Karen had moved among us (her first documented email was in 2007) and passed for a number of years as a normal user of social media and discussion platforms. Certainly on Furtherfield's Netbehaviour discussion list felt we knew who she was; a punky young artist with a didactic graphic style. Her visual arguments and slogans railed against ongoing patriarchal influence in culture and her conversations often felt very personal.