construct-deconstruct* (2018)
Composer: Sergej Maingardt
Saxophone quartet, electronic devices and video

Commissioned by HELLERAU – European Centre for the Arts (Dresde) for Quasar, construct-deconstruct has been premiered in Montreal on April 17th 2018.


Network identity (also Virtual Identity, Internet Identity, Online Identity, Internet Personality) can be defined as a personality project. Considering that online activities of individuals pursue the purposes of self-presentation, reflecting real aspects of the personality, this piece aims to represent a set of hypertext components of the network images of an individual.

Virtual identity’s specifications result from certain features of the online environment, such as the communication between users and the ability to remain anonymous. The main difference between network identity and real-life identity is the ability of the individual to fully control the first; to adjust it in order to appear for other users in the proper light. Indeed, virtual identity has relative mobility: it is easily adjusted or replaced. 

The construction of a network identity goes in the direction specified solely by the individual himself. It is completely controlled by him, which accordingly allows him, if desired, to move away from his real identity in the process of Internet communications and create alternative ones. Thus, the network identity of a person can both correspond and differ in a different degree from his identity in real life. When creating a network identity that contrasts with the real-life one, the user somehow resorts to distortion of personal information: hides or denies certain facts about himself, changes biographical information, etc. At the same time, often such distortions are conscious and inclined towards the fact that the individual considers an ideal. So, the image created by a person on the Internet gives him the opportunity to self-actualize and try on a role that he does not have the opportunity to try out in real life.