Marisa Musing



From Frescoes to Cyberfeminism

From tourist paraphernalia to photographic reproductions and artistic re-interpretations, the frescoes of ancient Pompeii have amassed an accretion of surfaces and mimicked layers. Disruptive excavation procedures of the early 1900s physically altered the imagery of the walls, and countless perspectives of the painted characters and their actions have unfolded through gender analysis, psychoanalysis, writing, and art, looking to reveal the mysteries of their scenes. Notably, the male gaze formalised sexist and objectifying stories for many of the women depicted on the walls, being described by the likes of Sigmund Freud and archaeologist August Maiuri as “intruigingly psycho-erotic subject matter”, “the sensual” “voluptuous bodies” being, “perfectly preserved youthful beauties”. With the progression of AI and digital tools, there is an opportunity to reinvestigate the sites through a digital lens. Being mindful of the patriarchal bias that still exists within AI, the project reflects how reinterpreting through digital tools can provide new narratives for both our past and present. This translation of archaeological sites re-envisions lost identities and designs new physical artefacts and architectural environments for the ancient women painted on the walls of Pompeii through a queer cyberfeminist architectural lens. By working in collaboration with AI, the project investigates the role of technology in archaeology and architectural history but also as an analytical and design tool. A queer cyberfeminist analysis can provide a new common language to interpret the architecture of the frescoes of Pompeii and tell revised stories for the painted women that moves away from the patriarchal lens of the past. Using feminist theories on AI and the role of the cyborg from theoretical texts including Donna Haraway’s Cyborg Manifesto and Legacy Russell's Glitch Feminism, the project is a visual investigation into how we can critically perceive our digital identities and design new spaces for our gender fluid, transversally thinking, physically-transcending bodies to exist.


Marisa Müsing (she/they) is a transdisciplinary artist & designer from Tkaronto, Canada. She has a background in architecture, having received her Masters of Art in Architecture from the Royal College of Art. Constantly driven by the process of fabrication and making, her work ranges from architecture, furniture design, 3D animations, fashion, painting and sculpture. Marisa has lectured and taught at Parsons School of Design, Harvard GSD, Rhode Island School of Design and ELISAVA Barcelona School of Design and Engineering. In 2018 Marisa co-founded müsing-sellés, a design and architecture studio that plays with furniture and the scalability of object creation. They have made international acclaim, presenting work in a variety of international galleries and shows including including Sight Unseen OFFSITE (New York 2018), Salone del Mobile (Milan 2019), Nomad Circle (Venice 2019), Maison & Objet (Paris 2020), Collectible Design (Brussels 2020), Transatlantico at Mana Contemporary (New Jersey 2020), Lake Como Design Festival (Lake Como 2020) and Barcelona Design Week (Barcelona 2022). Marisa has presented her digital work in Cloud Tales for Softer Digital (Copenhagen 2023), Bitten Peach Exhibition with the Asian Arts and Culture Trust (Toronto 2023), and Hot Air Group exhibition (New York 2018). As a mixed-asian queer artist, her work focuses on concepts of body and identity, experimenting through different mediums to express feminist ideals through artistic representation.


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Ines Weizman