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From August 29 - September 21, 2022, I held a solo exhibition titled Virtual Mimicry in the Greg Hardwick Gallery in Columbia, MO. The show exhibited works from my Body Series (produced between 2018 - 2019), along with the debut of my most recent video art installation titled Program: Me (seen here).
At the heart of mimicry is the idea of identity – more specifically, a superficial resemblance or imitation of an entity. My work investigates notions of corporeal identity in relation to intangible virtual spaces, and how our sense of self becomes mimicked, fractured and diluted as we exist on multiple digital planes simultaneously. I use my work to address emerging anxieties about identity within an increasingly digitized world with the hope to raise provocative questions.
Program: Me is a 2-hour looped video artwork that conveys a specific anxiety for our collective future within Surveillance Capitalism. Through the largest data-collection endeavor in human history, billions of people complacently allow corporations to collect invasive information and commodify attention.
This artwork presents a self-portrait according to all this collected data, which I input of my own volition. Seemingly endless data streams project across my façade, which includes my information of every internet search ever made, every step ever taken, every voice-to-text command, every advertisement ever seen, and every app ever opened. The more data recorded, the sharper the image of my virtual identity. This digital self is intended to be projected at a one-to-one scale within an art gallery, making the figure easier to relate to and empathize with, yet the cold stare and sterile white environment offers a reminder that this is a false, diluted version of self. The video piece also employs subtle psychological tactics to influence the emotional state of the viewer, which mimics persuasive technology techniques utilized by app designers to manipulate the behavior of users.
When seen in person within a gallery, a physically printed QR code is placed on the wall where the central figure's forehead is projected. In order the scan the code, the viewer must place their phone between themselves and the figure and block any facial view - any human connection. The QR code takes the viewer to Google Takeout, where one can download all the data that Google has collected on them: https://takeout.google.com/
A special thank you goes to the following people for their assistance in producing Program: Me - Kea Carrow, Kole Meehan, Kelsey Meehan, and Alisa Massie.
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