Films in this programme

#092 Therapeutic Reputational Laundering

Are we who we are online?

Public celebrity feuds, vlogs, and confessional feeds: despite concerns of privacy since its inception, the Internet has been the space of choice for those seeking to air their dirty linens. However, in the age of digital perpetuity and Big Data, anything shoved down the shoot and into the digital sphere can take on a life of its own. Is it possible to conceive of an online mode or space in which self-reflection and expression can take place that does not fall prey to the totalising potential of surveillance capitalism? Can self-expression take place without lapsing into reification and commodification of identity (i.e. self-exploitation)?

Various artists have negotiated resistance to these powers that be, developing idiosyncratic works in the process. Among these are masking practices, such as the development of alter egos and becoming characters in communal (online) spaces. Claiming ownership of one’s own online identity, and therewith citizenship to certain spheres, can be bought by those fluent in modelling digital appearances using account profiles and VR software. Confessionals defiantly reject the threat of overexposure in favour of claiming these spaces out loud (even if only in a whisper). Meanwhile, fly-on-the-wall documentarians remind us that even offline we are subjects of performance and censorship. Whether inflected with earnest sincerity or biting irony, the lens continues as a co-conspirator in laundering images for public consumption that would otherwise remain relegated to the dark corners of privacy.

This programme was created by Manon Falces as part of her Internship in 2020

Films in this programme

Nail Art Museum
Jeremy Bailey
(CA 2014, 5:53 min)
How can we use digital applications to create online personalities? As social media users, we are only too glad to play starring roles...
Face it! (Cast yourself™)
Michael Brynntrup
(DE 2007, 4:00 min)
Face It! (Cast Your Self™) consists of photographs collected from personal profiles of gay chat rooms on the internet. All images are...
Amalia Ulman
(ES/AR 2018, 8:00min)
Amalia Ulman’s work addresses fluid identities in the post- digital era when sincerity can be both authentic and ironic. AGENDA is a...
7.) I Spill My Guts Everyday For Nothing
Kirsten Stoltman
(US 2015, 7:48 min)
A portrait of the artist spilling her guts with a blank expression on her face. A self-confessional meditation, equal parts comic and...
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