Laura Duffy, Research image, 2020. Image courtesy of the artist.

Laura Duffy, Research image, 2020. Image courtesy of the artist.

18 Sep – 24 Oct 2020

Laura Duffy

For !ERROR! Pōneke-based moving image artist Laura Duffy has invited artists to dance in front of a green screen set up, and transported them to another, limitless, realm.


!ERROR! brings together a variety of footage and experiments across multiple screens in a darkened gallery. Utilising low-fi animation, digital glitches, failures and data points to distort bodies in space, Duffy has developed a series of dancing digital portraits. Together, they pursue a queering of technology and an immersive space where desire, pleasure and friendship is celebrated. The project aims to explore forms of agency and anti-normalcy that may be derived through concealment, opacity and intimate, queer-specific spaces.                      

The starting point for Duffy’s video installation was an invitation to participants to dance, including the option to use costumes and disguises. Bringing these sequences together, !ERROR! calls attention to the kind of improvised dancing that might happen at a party or club, whether sexy, shy, silly or irreverent. In asserting the potential of what is often dismissed as an unproductive activity, !ERROR! questions the categorisation of “failure” or “success” as political and limited by capitalist and heteronormative ideals. Instead, the installation thinks of failure as a performance of refusal. It critiques the assumption that our relationships be productive or easily defined, and prioritises surprise, joy and love as important aspects of resistance and solidarity.

The moving-image work is accompanied by a soundtrack by producer, singer, visual artist and designer Strange Stains, developed specifically for !ERROR!.


Laura Duffy is a queer video artist born in Tairawhiti and based in Pōneke. Recent exhibitions include DUIRVIAS with Owen Connors, Blue Oyster Art Project Space, Ōtepoti Dunedin, 2020; Thinking about thinking about the future (with Aliyah Winter), Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Art Gallery, 2020; Club 290, Play_Station, Pōneke, 2020; Garden of Purity, Courtenay Place Lightboxes, Pōneke, 2018. Laura has previously worked as a facilitator of artist-run space MEANWHILE.