A black and white portrait of a white woman with a short bob haircut and bangs wearing a black turtleneck and small hoop earrings.

Kara Güt is a multidisciplinary artist whose primary focus is image-based, digital media. Güt's work investigates the shape of human intimacy formed by internet lifestyle, constructed detachment from reality, and the power dynamics of the virtual. Her work has been shown at Hybrid Box, Hellerau European Centre for the Arts, Hesse Flatow, Las Cigarreras Cultural Centre, Azkuna Zentroa, Pioneer Works, and Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit. She received an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art and is an alumni of Pioneer Works Tech Residency, SPACES residency, and Visual + Digital Arts residency at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. Güt lives and works in Ohio.



Photo by Clare Gatto

Selected Work

In a spacious brick room, four people sit at individual desks with laptops on a shallow stage, reciting out towards an audience on all three sides of the stage. Behind the performers is a large screen with a projection of a video game, showing a man on a horse in a desert scene.
Kara Güt, Welcome to my Desert Nexus, 2021. Performance, 1 hour. Performed at Pioneer Works with Tommy Martinez, Emma Levesque-Schaefer, and Noah D'Orazio and composed by Justin Majetich. Photo by Walter Wlodarczyk; courtesy of Pioneer Works.

Welcome to My Desert Nexus is a three-act play performed within a video game. The play follows two players within the game Red Dead Redemption Online as they encounter existential quandaries in the digital desert. Part table-read, part live gaming event, this project combines the aesthetic languages of the theater and the video game. The play can be viewed two ways: the in-person presentation resembles that of a live gaming event in which the players and their battlestations occupy the stage. The virtual presentation of the play is open to anyone watching via livestream or within the same online session of the game. This performance starred Tommy Martinez, Emma Levesque-Schaefer, and Noah D'Orazio with an original soundtrack composed by Justin Majetich.

Kara Güt, Intimacy Mod II (variations on a theme), 2020. Video, 8 minutes 32 seconds. Commissioned by The Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit and Daata for Daily Rush Season 3, curated by Pat Elifritz. Image courtesy of the artist and The Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit.

Intimacy Mod is a series of in-game performances carried out by the player-character and an NPC (non-player character) within the game Skyrim. Each performance consists of two avatars engaged in the mod “Immersive Lover’s Comfort” by flexcreator, conjoining the two at the mouth and relying on rag-doll physics to contort into impossible and violent embraces. These performances posit the question: does mediation through digital space take us further from human experience, or closer? Does removal of the real body take along with it our sense of humanity, or does it release us? Perhaps in the absence of a real body, an entirely new language of performance can occur; an alternative mode of expression not tied to physical identities.

Kara Güt, Hurt/Comfort, 2022. Video installation, 11 minutes 34 seconds. Installation view at Hybrid Box, Hellerau European Art Center. Organized and curated by PYLON. Image courtesy of PYLON Contemporary Media Art.

Hurt/Comfort is a two-monitor installation that reimagines the livestream as the contemporary confession booth. The streamer and their chat discuss topics such as the condition of being seen, performing for a virtual audience, and fandom, while on the second screen, a full transcript of their interaction is published with additional narrative; a voyeuristic and snarky commentary.