Martine Neddam’s Mouchette.org is a digital art piece that explores themes of infantilization, fetishization, and cyber identity through an interactive net experience. Originally launched in 1996, the artist fabricated the cyber persona “Mouchette,” an almost thirteen year old girl whose infantile speech and graphic adult-content (i.e. suicide and violence) interests mirror the dualistic nature of teenage representation. This dualistic theme is central to “Mouchette,” as she is present yet aloof, legitimate yet anonymous, concrete yet intangible.
The Mouchette experience is further dimensionalized through interaction with the user, as they are implored to “touch”,”taste” and “kiss” their screens in order to simulate physical and sexual contact with the almost thirteen year old. Even more interestingly, users are implored to “adopt” the persona of Mouchette, and are given instructions on how to do so. After adopting and living as Mouchette for thirty days, it’s time to speak.
I AM Mouchette. I love and hate being Mouchette. My name is Mouchette which also means fly but I don’t think that is a bad thing. I am a girl but I know more than just a girl. I am almost thirteen but I know more than just a girl my age. I see things with the (fly in my eye) that helps me see and be and become the artist I’ve aways wanted to be.
(Want to be an artist? Just say so! Easy as one, two three)
Even though I like to see and I see so much more than anyone my age (I am almost thirteen), I hate seeing. (the flies stick to my eye) There are times I want to be left alone and I want people to get out and the man with the beard and the ugly blue shirt to leave me alone because he is my father and he is old and he doesn’t understand
(LEAVE ME ALONE!!).
I want everyone to be around me and know who I am. I think I want to become so famous that I’m never left alone. People will recognize me from the web and say “Mouchette I want to be closer to you”. (I like being close to people; please be close to me) I want to be so close to people I can taste them. Through their screens they can feel my pressed nose and tongue and I think they like it
(I know you want to kiss me)
(I’m almost thirteen and I know how to kiss)
When I do I like to tell them how it tastes. I like things that taste like meat. Maybe it is because I am a fly. My father and I are flesh and meat. I think thats why I never want him to actually go away. I love things that taste like meat.
(want to know that I taste like?)
(want to hear me moan?)
(want to see me in the dark?)
(start touching, silly)
I think dark things. I like dark things. (I know you do too). I like being Mouchette but I like ending things too. I think about ending me. I’m only 13 but I like suicide a lot. There are so many ways to do it and it comes in so many shapes and sizes. I could never pick just one
(am I in pain?)
(of course not.)
So for Christmas I asked for a little box that would tell me the best way to commit suicide. It was the best present I ever got! People who were close to me sent me many boxes of little suicide kits but the best one I got told me something very strange. It wasn’t like the kits with blood and rope and knots. It said that
[the best way to kill yourself is slowly]
and I liked that. I didn’t know much about killing myself before and I very much liked this one. It means I can always be killing myself even when I’m not trying. I love killing myself. There aren’t many places to find suicide and this particular kit made me think lots. (flies are attracted to death)
I enjoy death!
(flies are only there when no one wants them)
I told the people who wanted to be closer to me that I would meet them ( at the Triple X – come find me there) and I wanted people to come find me and tell me what I looked like. Did you meet me? What did I do?
Did you like me?
(I like me.)
(I am empty.)
Jessica Mairena is a mixed media artist who currently attends the University of Richmond. Her work primarily focuses on the exploratory integration of conceptual texts, painting, and sculpture.