Babel Visningsrom for Kunst

Meta.Morf 2024, May 2 – June 2

Unnur Andrea Einarsdottir / Panja Göbel

Meta.Morf 2024 – [up]Loaded Bodies / Babel Visningsrom for Kunst / May 2 – June 2 /
Curators: Petter Buhagen, Mishi Foltyn.

TechnoFlesh (2024)

Technoflesh is a metaphysical sci-fi experience by Unnur Andrea Einarsdottir and Panja Göbel. Exploring the blurred and hybrid relationship between our bodily reality and our digital counterparts, the artists are staging a participatory cult-like performance powered by the audience’s brain data. 

In an imagined sci-fi bio lab setting, the audience is invited to reflect on the concept of human physicality and how avatars could be embedded in body remnants in a hyper-digitized future.

Inspired by and building upon Stelarc’s ideology around the ‘techno body,’ the artists position an apocalyptic artwork around the accelerationist future of nanotechnologies.

Talking about the idea of ‘techno flesh’ becoming the new landscape for machines, Stelarc foresaw a future where “…the body becomes connected with other bodies in other places in a multiplicity of ways, a whole range of sensory antennae that the technology provides. In a sense, the body becomes part of this greater operational structure, where intelligence is distributed remotely and spatially over the Internet” (Stelarc, 1995).

The project is a reflection on the consequences of Stelarc’s staged body hybridization during a time of hyper-digitization: the pandemic, live-streamed wars, and the metaverse becoming a capitalized virtual destination. 

Unpacking what it could mean to have a log for the remains of a physical body within the digital world, the artists are staging the idea of future flesh being able to hold a history of its digital avatars. Metaverse gatekeepers explore the digital ghosts tied to diverse bodily remnants and ask the audience to engage in a hunger games like ritual to keep their avatars alive. A brain headset will be fitted on the participant, feeding their personal brain data into an augmented reality app that maps the avatar on their face. Left at the mercy of the brain-computer interface, the participant is forced to navigate the fragile hybrid place that connects them to their virtual replicant. 

What role will the body as a physical structure play in a future that looks predominantly digital? Building on Stelarc’s vision of flesh to be redesigned and accelerated through technology, the artists are casting a not-so-impossible reality of ‘the body as a traceable site for the psyche or the spirit’ to interact with these ideas through the use of technology. Technoflesh here proposes embedded technologies as a tool to access and communicate a person’s dreams in the form of their avatars. The participant is being tasked to alter their brain waves to hold someone else’s dream on their own face. Technology becomes a symbiotic component of flesh expressing real agency for the audience to witness.

The viewer has to navigate the complex, multi-layered issues of a technologized future where a person’s history and dreams can be called up and embodied by others. Dreams and surveillance sit side by side, there is no clear message.

Panja Göbel and Unnur Andrea Einarsdóttir first met during the bi-weekly Zoom sessions of two artist-led groups during lockdown 2020: All Women’s Networked Jam (AWNJS) and Corona Improv. Both projects focused on telematic collaboration between international artists and were finalized with four live performances at the ARS Electronica festival in Linz in 2020. With a mutual interest in Posthumanism, technological systems, and speculative futures the two artists started collaborating on several projects since then. In 2022, they developed the Zoe Seance, a participatory performance project mixing computational systems with the occult. Using a brain headset in combination with a mixed reality app, they performed a ritualistic séance to explore human identity and a possible merging with non-human others. The project was staged over several performances and an installation at Lothringer 13 Halle in Munich in December 2022. Their new work, “Technoflesh,” is a speculative investigation into the human body and how we might experience its digital footprint in the future.


Panja Göbel (DE) is a trans-media artist and creative technologist based in London. Her practice focuses on the entangled human-machine relationships arising within our current networked world. With a particular focus on brain interfaces and augmenting the body, Panja makes use of electronics, circuitry, and custom interactive systems in order to create critical mixed reality experiences.

Panja has performed/had her work shown at Ars Electronica (Linz, 2020), Olympia Stadium (Munich, 2020), arebyte Gallery (London, 2020), Time Canvas Festival (Antwerp, 2021), Art Futura (London, 2021), Muffatwerk (Munich, 2022), Lothringer13 Halle (Munich, 2022), and Trondheim Kunstmuseum (Trondheim, 2023).

Unnur Andrea Einarsdóttir (IS) is a visual artist and musician. In her work she explores our relationship with technology and the utopian and dystopian manifestations of our digital present. She investigates the divide between our virtual lives and physical bodies and how global networks influence our identities, societies, and collective perception of reality. Unnur Andrea works mainly with video, performance, and installation, often seeking to create an immersive and encompassing experience for the viewer. As a singer and award-winning music producer, the sonic elements remain an important and central factor in most of her work. Unnur Andrea has exhibited at the ARS electronica festival (Linz), the Meta.Morf biennale (Trondheim), Reykjavík Art Museum, Atelier Nord (Oslo) and Lothringer 13 Halle (Munich) to name a few.

Header graphics: “Technoflesh brand visula”, courtesy of the artists. Portrait photo courtesy of the artists.