SOPHIA OPPEL: AN INFINITE LOOP IN THE VIRTUAL PLAZA
OCTOBER 5 — 27, 2019
At Crutch Contemporary Art Center
Updated components from this work were exhibited in TERMS & EXPECTATIONS at InterAccess in 2022
“An Infinite Loop in the Virtual Plaza” maps the parallels between supposedly innocuous public architecture and “user-friendly” digital interfaces. The architecture of malls, plazas, airports and lobbies serve the same placeless function as social media interfaces; they provide a supposedly “neutral” experience to foreground audience or user content: both reaffirming western colonial notions of “universality” while perpetuating neoliberal capitalism and apathetic, a-political subjects.
Glossy, white aesthetics maintain an illusion of purity and give users a sense of agency, while creating a landscape for capitalist power to be easily internalized and rearticulated by individual bodies, facilitating free labour through surveillance and demographic tracking. Centered around an essayistic video work that investigates these “invisible” numbing infrastructures and the capitalist logic that underpins their aesthetics, this body of work attempts to unpack the implications of these tools, that ease extraction through military-grade psychological conditioning.
Documentation by Grayson James Alabiso-Cahill and the artist