FABRICATED FREEDOM. A Visual Interactive Art Installation (2015)
Amidst the relentless flow of electronic data and imagery, social media applications can become a vacuum for time and content. And in an era of followers, likes, views, and shares they forge a new currency of power, reach and influence becoming the driver of our generation. Fabricated Freedom is a multi-part installation and performance piece exploring “the other” as subject, limited view and simulacra as each relates to the sculpting of projected identity, visual iconography and the temporality of social engagement online.
Debuting at New York’s Wallplay on 20 November 2015 and traveling to Kantine am Berghain in Berlin on the 29th, the piece was conceived by Berlin-based collective LAWBF and Canadian artist Justin Wu. It is incorporates interactive sound by MOTE Studio’s Davide Luciani & Fabio Perletta and app development, design and digital consultancy by Daniel Teoh. For the Berlin edition of Fabricated Freedom the content from the New York projections will be transformed into a hybrid club-installation concept with performances by Miles Whittaker of Demdike Stare, Ostgut Ton's debut artist Kobosil, theatre musician and composer Friederike Bernhardt and the LAWBF residents and a sculpture by Moritz Grewenig.
The title phrase was culled from Norman Klein’s The Vatican to Vegas: The History of Special Effect, where he examines the notion of “scripted spaces” – which Klein defines as click-through environments designed to encourage viewers’ perceived limitless options despite the space being engineered precisely for a specific mode of perception – as a continuation of Deleuze and Guattaris’ “desiring-production;” where they envisioned a space in which consumers intermingle branding efforts within their own psychic fantasies and create a sphere for social energy and exchange to funnel.
Considering Deleuze, Guattari and Kleins’ interpretations of the effect of consumption on our social interaction, how can scripted spaces and desiring- production be applied to contemporary mechanisms of interaction on social media such as Snapchat and Instagram? Sociocultural production on the part of contemporary arbiters of taste creates a system of signs through the commodification of imagery that define how we present ourselves through angling, framing, filters, brands, hashtags and ultimately a highly produced projection on platforms intended to be spontaneous. This calculated content is conditioning our engagement towards technocratic narcissism and a populace that becomes more connected yet further removed from one another with every post, like and tag. Users’ primary consideration is often to provoke an ideal experience of their lifestyle and perception of their identity for their users; and their desire to present appealing content can encourage superficial or brief engagements.
Inherent to Fabricated Freedom is smart phone technology. A twofold commentary on our increasingly dependent relationship to social media – how it dominates our interactions as well as the way we perceive and want to be perceived – is demonstrated across this two-room installation. Participants will enter the initial space utilizing a social media application inspired by Instagram and Snapchat to capture the seemingly ordinary individual they encounter in the nondescript space. Simultaneously, their feed will project to an autonomous audience in the secondary space accompanied by a soundtrack generated from an algorithm arranging the ambient acoustics of the first room. By displacing their audience, this performance highlights the tendency of social media in deterring users from experiencing the now and orienting our relationships to the present through the filter of documentation. Perhaps removing the pressures of creditability will encourage participant’s reflections outward.
NEW YORK EXHIBITION
Opened 20 November 2015
On View 20-22 November 2015
Wallplay. 118 Orchard Street, Manhattan
On View 29 November 2015
Kantine am Berghain. Am Wriezener Bahnhof, 10243
Sound MOTE STUDIO
Digital Consultant & App Development Daniel Teoh
Executive Producer Harish Tulsi
Producers Mohammed Mehrabani Yeganeh & Daniel Cupic
Consultants Ambre Kelly & Cecelia Stucker
Special Thanks to Martin Schaesberg