Up in the air, neon lights flicker
Jaxton Su & Jamie Cooper
19 - 28 August 2022, 2 - 7pm
Opening reception: 19 Aug, 4 - 9pm
The phenomenon of contemporary life can be at times experienced as a viscous and shifting landscape populated by images of the spectacular in a hyperreal environment as described by philosopher Jean Baudrillard. Following a prevalent shift towards the digital in the contemporary era, people are spending considerably more time within virtual spaces, engaging in day-to-day activities such as work, communication, commerce and leisure. These vastly connected and algorithmically-driven virtual spaces are swiftly becoming spaces of mass culture, which capture the attention of immense populations across the globe, and to some degree, significantly diverting their interest away from the physical world.
Amid this growing network of digital environments lies a compressed time-space experience. People are seemingly caught within a shared time of a perennial present in front of their digital device, which has considerably altered and shrunk the space for communication, transportation and production; as well as inordinately accelerated temporality as digital technologies are constantly geared towards speed, be it for quicker connections, instant transmission of information or efficient transactions. This present-centred time and network is formulated for one to be kept perpetually active and engaged to an ever-flowing stream of digital data. Consequently, the alienation of individuals, digital surveillance and the commodification of thoughts and actions are brought about.
These in turn have generated an ideal environment for capitalism, where the digital consumer has become part of the commodification, spellbound by an array of spectacles mediated by commodities and images. With visual embodiments protracting our spectacular society, the real physical world becomes seemingly shrouded or sublimated by the synthetic profit-driven virtual world of representations. Disengagement from the real fuels alienation as individuals live within a digital filter bubble that has captured their attention and consciousness substantially. The network spectacle creates a hyperreal environment that is patently deemed as sublime and unparalleled, perpetuated by an unduly optimism over the digital network and its technological advancements. This electronically powered and code-sustained magical pixel realm of digital culture becomes ubiquitous in our everyday life, seemingly promising novel remedies to our desires and predicaments.
How do we position one’s intrinsic entity against the environment and form meaningful symbiotic connections with our surrounding subjects in an alienated society dominated by capitalism? How do we discern between images and the real and navigate within this increasingly illusory world? Exploring the uncanny dissonance between subjective and objective realities through the lenses of magical realism and science fiction, artists Jamie Cooper and Jaxton Su come together to create an immersive video art exhibition consisting of game-like and speculative constructs - an environment that reflects upon and questions our contemporary phenomena of digital surplus, capitalism and hyperreality.
About the Artist(s)
Jaxton’s works often attempt to bridge metaphorical parallels between the sublimity of nature with the unfathomable human mind. He is intrigued by the wondrous ways that the various natural phenomena resonate with our subjective selves. Exploring these ideas through speculative and emblematic spaces or subjects in his experimental works, he hopes that his artistic vision will present a multifaceted dimension for unbridled contemplation and reflection into issues surrounding our everyday realities. His current research interests include geology, urbanism, digital culture and psychology; and how these diverse themes relate to one another.
Jamie’s current practice has grown to draw on Sci-fi futurism to construct theoretical ‘other places’ where there is the cognative room to imagine more optamistic futures beyond late capitalist and climate crisis. He is interested in the exploration of metaphysics and phenomenology, as well as invoking a sense of the uncanny.