Queerskins

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Partly based on Szilak's experiences as an HIV physician, Queerskins tells the story of Sebastian, a young gay physician from a rural Missouri Catholic family who dies at the beginning of the epidemic. Queerskins harnesses the odd intimacies afforded by the Internet (collaborations formed via Craig's List and access to strangers' personal images and videos from the Creative Commons) to explore the human urge for transcendence via love, religious faith, sexual ecstasy, storytelling, and technology itself. The interface consists of layers of sound (two hours of audio monologues from five characters), diaristic text (40,000 words), and more than a hundred banal, quotidian photos curated from Flickr Creative Commons and videos (downloaded from YouTube and the Internet Archive) as well as ephemeral Flip videos of life in L.A. (commissioned from Iris Prize nominated filmmaker Jarrah Gurrie) that users can navigate at random or experience as a series of multimedia collages.

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Scott Rettberg