The Alien Has to Learn
HD video, 9 mins set to loop
The Alien Has to Learn exposes the rampant gender-asymmetry of North American tech-culture from the vantage point of a professional woman negotiating boundaries of personal/professional performativity.
The work was filmed onsite at a contemporary Las Vegas innovation technology conference, inside an adjoining Mirage Casino hotel-room and outside at the Mirage’s roadside automated fire fountain. Conceptually, the video congeals Freudian tropes within a hotel room-turned-studio (a la Virginia Woolf's "A Room of One's Own").
Inside the hotel room, a power-drill, cheese danish, miniature alien-doll, and 4ft blonde ponytail are strangely and surreally activated. After excursions walking amongst thousands of male conference attendees, the alienated protagonist tactically enacts the gender asymmetry on body-prop-surrogates. The act of growing a pony-tail is inverted. A doll becomes instructor. As the name alludes, "The Alien Has to Learn", but what the alien is and what the alien asked to learn becomes volatile. The the final cumulating sequence, the video slows to an extended single shot contextualizing the Mirage's masturbatory fire fountain as critical metaphor.