Faith Holland | Portfolio Categories The Body
Website of multimedia artist Faith Holland.
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We touch things all day. Ordinarily, we touch a variety of things: subway poles, hands, someone else’s sweater. But after Coronavirus, touch contracted, from smooth glass screens to slightly textured keys and back, with, if we’re lucky, some fur and skin in between. These GIFs look at the particular kind of touch we were forced to practice in 2020.


Deep Touch

This video is inspired by a photography by Matt Mahurin, which first appeared as an illustration in a 1995 Time magazine story about the dangers of cyberporn. In the photograph, a naked man is wrapped around a glowing computer in a supposedly dangerous or ill-conceived tryst. Using one of my Soft Computing sculptures, I caress and embrace a glowing computer too, but with gentleness and affection.



Detumescence is a vanitas scene that includes Soft Computing sculptures, fruit, flowers, outmoded technologies, wires, a GIF, and other detritus–all of which decay at different scales of time. The piece was made as a memorial to the lives lost due to COVID-19 and, in its initial exhibition, was livestreamed on YouTube as weekly vigils during a time when people could not responsibly gather and grieve communally.


The Most Beautiful Dick Pics of All Time

The Most Beautiful Dick Pics of All Time transforms oft-maligned dick pics into beautiful aesthetic experiences. These penises are divorced from the body and its human gender signifiers, and are recontextualized among bubbles, flowers, and decorative pattern designs. Stripped bare, seen both hard and soft, the Dicks are stripped of their phallic power and are instead made vulnerable–and perhaps as a cause of that, beautiful. The Dicks take inspiration from contemporary artists who have addressed the body (sometimes penises specifically) such as Dan Graham, Carol Rama, Andy Warhol, and Busby Berkeley.

The Dicks were installed on Pornhub for Hard/Soft at TRANSFER. Click here to launch the ‘online viewing room.’


Soft Computing

Soft Computing is a series of plush dolls that depict technologies. It reconfigures our physical relationship to devices such as desktop computers, keyboard, mice, cell phones, and ethernet cables. As technologies get closer and closer to the body–in our back pockets, our laps, and in our beds–they still remain obstinately hard. Plushies, on the other hand, are huggable media: soft to the touch and very willing to accept our embrace.


Spring Break Art Show installation photo by Samuel Morgan.


Wire Bath

Wire Bath, a video and GIF triptych, is a fetishistic performance in which I enact my fantasy of being in a bathtub full of ethernet cords. The cords entwine my body and peek out of the water like tentacles from the ocean. As more and more of our technologies are ‘wireless’ and we continue to use the cloud as the dominant metaphor for understanding the internet, I re-connect with the physical cables used to transfer data. The tub becomes a miniature model of cyberspace and repositions the cloud underwater, where much of the physical infrastructure of the internet does in fact exist. I embed myself in this cybertub and the cables and I wash and relax together.


The Fetishes

The Fetishes are hybrid GIF-sculptures that use different consumer devices, such as cell phones, tablets, and laptops as their bases. Each device plays a moving-image abstraction of flesh that has been appropriated from pornography. The screen of the device is treated with a tactile substance such as pubic hair, fur, makeup, or lubricant. The Fetishes highlight the physical way we interact with our devices–caressing, prodding, and cradling them all day long. They are installed on top of a commercial counter display that contains working materials (makeup, wires, faux fur), highlighting the tension between the objects’ statuses as both commodities and life partners.

installation photos by Walter Wlodarczyk