Companion is a video poem which examines the very contemporary issue of computer-mediated intimacy, exploring issues such as touch hunger, parasocial interaction and the affective power of audio-visual media. The video focuses on the tension between being completely immersed and captivated by on-screen personas, and that moment of self-reflexivity when we realise that our actual companion is the screen itself. It is a video which evinces the solitary nature of our current world in which the necessity of corporeal intimacy is eschewed in favour of the unresponsive but more accessible simulacrum of companionship which can be found online.
Jack Williams is a cross-disciplinary artist who specializes in media art and text-based art. His artistic and academic interests include: contemporary screen culture, authenticity within film and video, internet culture and experimental writing techniques.
His video work has been shown publicly at art events in Belarus, Colombia, France, Germany, Greece, Latvia, Montenegro, Poland, Sweden, United Kingdom, United States and Venezuela. His text-based art has been published in a number of print and online journals.
Computer-mediated intimacy has become increasingly normalised, especially during the Covid 19 crisis where many of us were indoors by ourselves and were reliant on screens as a means of providing companionship. Do we spend an inordinate amount of time in the company of screens and media? Or has screen technology become so ubiquitous that intimate relationships with them are inevitable, natural, and even preferable to instances of intimacy which involve physical co-presence?