Hansen’s previous work considers everything from the art market, the notion of the institution and how that might infiltrate an artist’s subjectivity, to the use of labor in creative practice. In a 2014 interview with Mousse magazine she described her art practice as “invested in the micro-political and the question of how capitalism enters our relationship to ourselves.” Her Gasworks show is similarly broad, but clearly extends her practice’s concerns into VR.
Some of Hansen’s artworks wrestle with traditional pornographic conventions, many of which are conceived by and for men, by highlighting feministic problems. Her computer-generated animation No Right Way 2 Cum (2015) shows a female avatar ejaculating abundantly onto a virtual camera in what Hansen called a “feminist reconstruction of the cumshot,” made in response to a recent ban by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) on female ejaculation in pornography produced in the United Kingdom. Meanwhile, Dickgirl 3D(X) (2016), produced with digital arts studio Werkflow Ltd, uses a gaming console to showcase the kind of readymade objects used in virtual adult entertainment. Again to a thudding soundtrack and the sound of digital gasps, a sexualized CGI body of indeterminate gender can be seen interacting with an amorphous shape. One of these is a pre-built female avatar that can be obtained by digital designers online. Hansen is exposing that avatar’s gender, size, and animated behavior to scrutiny.
“I feel that the virtual reality production that I’ve seen so far is devoid of feminist discourse, queer theory, and critique,” added the artist. “My work is a way to insert a piece of sex activism into that context.”