John Butler and Martina Morger


FILE Sao Paulo 2022 | Avant Digital Art
Electronic Language International Festival



Gaitkeeper is inspired by the rise of ”gait recognition” technology, and its role in the emergent ”solid state society”, currently best represented by China’s social credit system. Our motions are as distinctive as our faces, and are being captured and interned as we speak. Long range surveillance, where faces are occluded, is an ideal application. During the first phase of the War on Terror, there was great interest in analyzing walks as a clue to emotional state. It was thought that a terrorist’s gait would betray their intentions. If these are the measures, then what are the countermeasures? Gaitkeeper imagines a new vital security role for dancers and performance artists. Much as fine artists were roped into designing avant garde camouflage patterns during WW1 and 2, (Roger Penrose, Paul Klee, Franz Marc, amongst others), perhaps these performers will give unpredictability training to tomorrow’s insurgents. This piece was made at the time of the Hong Kong riots, when protestors were coming up with novel ways to dazzle surveillance systems using masks, lasers and umbrellas.

Martina Morger was born in Vaduz (LI), 1989, and is based around LI, Eastern CH & Northern DE. Martina Morger studied Media and Cultural Studies at the University of Zurich, Media Art at the Zurich University of the Arts and Der Angewandte in Vienna before completing a Masters in Fine Arts Practice at the Glasgow School of Arts. She is co-curator of the platform Perrrformat, bringing performance art into public spaces, and a member of several collectives and unions. In 2020, Martina was a studio fellow at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris. She is a Manor Art Prize winner in 2021 and recent exhibitions have included her work at Kunstmuseen St.Gallen (Appenzell, Liechtenstein), CCA (Glasgow), National Galleries of Scotland, Yarat CAS (Baku), Cafa Art (Beijing), Galerie Lovaas Projects, Suomi Art Fair and ArtFair Liste (Basel). In 2019, she represented Liechtenstein at the 58th Venice Biennale.