Hungry for Human Contact
A social art experiment investigating sexuality and intimacy during Covid19
Commissioned by ProCreate Project
‘Now, it has been made illegal to have sex with someone outside your household, with the rules being put into place from June 1. Anyone caught breaking the law could face having a criminal record.“ A booty call with that guy you dated for three months last year” is very much not on the list. Nor is “a nightly visit to the nearby flat of the girl/boyfriend you’re not ready to cohabitate with yet”. And don’t even think about going on a date, unless it’s virtual.‘
(Eleanor Steafal, The Telegraph, June 2020)
Match. Chat. Date. Tinder is a geosocial networking and online dating application that allows users to anonymously swipe to like or dislike other profiles based on their photos, a small bio, and common interests. Once two users have matched, they can exchange messages and arrange a date.
We are in a pandemic right now and even though lock down rules are gradually easing, dating, sex (unless its virtual)is illegal in the UK. But why do people join tinder during a pandemic in the first place? What are people looking for?
According to a survey of UK adults which took place during lockdown, one in four said they had feelings of loneliness (24%). In a matter of weeks, social distancing left millions more people in the UK feeling isolated. Long term loneliness is associated with an increased risk of certain mental health problems, including depression, anxiety and increased stress. (mental health foundation UK,2020)
People are hungry for human contact and no pandemic can break the ties of desire, need for intimacy, connection. It’s a basic human instinct and a strategy of survival from the invisible killer ‘Loneliness’.
During the first lockdown, Dagmara Bilon had a dream about Corona, a female Vampire who has come to seek revenge on humans. Sitting with magnified feelings of loneliness, deprived of human contact, Bilon took this rare opportunity to explore the digital landscape of online dating and joined Tinder as the personification of Corona the Vampire.
‘Hungry for Human Contact’ documents Tinder chats between Dagmara Bilon, in her Corona The Vampire Persona and her Tinder matches that include straight and bi-men, gay and bi-women and gender fluid identities.
The diverse conversations with various individuals seek to investigate and give insight into people’s circumstances during the time of the pandemic, the human condition of loneliness, desire, fantasies and Coron's attempt to pull her matches into creative interventions...
Hungry for Human Contact Exhibition
Commissioned and Presented by The Genderhouse Festival