About the author

Yiota Demetriou

I am a British-Cypriot multimedia artist, performance maker and academic based in Bristol (UK). My artistic work and research are interlinked focusing on life stories and new ways of creating meaningful and visceral narrative experiences with and for the public; on stage, for museums, galleries, and archives, for screens, speakers, cross-reality technologies, and for books.

Image by Lidia Drzewiecka

Creating a book was not my initial intention. The narrative was born out of something highly personal: love letters, as mentioned, that were never sent. A conversation with myself attempting to put thoughts into perspective, and negotiate vulnerability with oneself. Within the intuitive process of the content itself flourishing into a collection, the letters were re-written, re-configured, layered, reconstructed, and interrogated. It eventually became something that was less personal to me, and instead something universal about being human; finding a space where vulnerabilities can live in their raw form, without having to apologise for being there. In the book, I use a Greek word to deliver the depth of its meaning, Apogymnomeno/(a).  Vulnerable emotions or experiences that are startling, raw, humiliating, naked, intimate, overly exposed and almost unsettling in their own familiarity.

The approach I use is human-centric, participatory, performative, sometimes theatrical, and most of the time technological, but it always foregrounds people’s agency and affectual experience.

I am currently interested in hands and touch. The social and sentimental significance of these. I am also interested in the nature of human relationships, and materialising emotions that are difficult to express with mere words, that are sometimes considered taboo; hence the making of this book. All components that make this book what it is, indicate the necessity of affection through touch, and thus the importance of the human hand as an organ both of performance, expression, and of perception.

To You allowed space for collaboration, space for another voice in the piece, where Tom Abba’s contribution to the visualisation of the text, amongst other things, became highly significant to the work, “much as the work itself is a voice communicating with an (absent) voice”, he says…

We envisioned the book’s material form to reflect its content; a love union between form and text that work together, responding to each other through exterior interaction. The book had to be alive, to resonate with the erratic eruption of feelings, the non-linearity of life, the difficulty of relationships, the chaos and irrationality of emotions, the vulnerability and rawness of things.

First prints, video by Yiota Demetriou, 2016

If by chance you find yourself resonating with some of the heartfelt thoughts I have shared within this book, I hope you will find comfort within its pages, and that it offers you some relief, as it did me whilst writing it.

Acknowledgments and Dedications

To you who inspired it, but will not read it.

To my dear Zoe (†) , and, eternal Yiayia Anastasia (†), who saw me embark on this journey but did not have the chance to finish it with me. You are both deeply missed.

Appreciation and deepest gratitude are extended to my family and friends for their continuous support. Especially to my sister Anastasia, my comrade João Florêncio, Alastair Horne, Mike Yerolemou, Jo Newbury, George Margelis, Irene Fernandez-Mendez Diego, Paul Geary, Antonis Vafeas, Andreas Andriotis, Samantha Payne, Laura Kriefman, and the Pervasive Media Studio community.

A special thanks to my co-conspirator Tom Abba, and to my mentor (novelist and author of digital fiction) Kate Pullinger, and the Centre for Cultural and Creative Industries (@CCCIBathSpa) at Bath Spa University for supporting the making of this book.