Projet EVA

The Object of the Internet

2017

The Object of the Internet is an installation evoking the idea of a mausoleum for the end of the web.

Beyond the word play evoked by the title (the internet of objects / The Object of the Internet), the artists seek to turn a concept typically associated with the online communities of cyberspace into something material and concrete, presenting certain aspects of social media in allegorical form.

The work could be seen as an inversion of the concept of Brion Gysin’s Dreamachine. Originally, this hallucinogenic, optical work placed users around a rotating, perforated cylinder that pulsated light. With The Object of the Internet, the user is central and surrounded by luminous, kinetic elements. Such placement allows the artists to represent outside the web one of its iconic concepts: the selfie. Interested in the growing commodification of the “self” in hypermedia culture, the artists take a critical look at the failures of the utopic dreams of cyberculture proponents like Gysin and Burroughs.

A quote by Carmen Hermosillo accompanies the work. Poet, blogger, and social media pioneer, Hermosillo already pointed out in 1994: “I have seen many people spill their guts online, and I did so myself until, at last, I began to see that I had commodified myself.” Even though the installation does not directly produce the precise sensation of dehumanization, the artists have sought to trouble in visitors an element intimately associated with one’s identity, namely one’s own reflection. The image of the face is fragmented and deconstructed, becoming the source of an abstract and inhuman structure. The final experience is somewhat like a small death pointing to the possible vacuity of “online” existence.

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The piece relies mostly on an analog and mechanical mediascape. There is no video signal, only lights, motors and mirrors. Mechanical vibrations of the installation are picked-up by contact microphones, amplified and transferred back through the metal structure by the means of a driver affixed to it. Two speakers set inside the disc rotate along with the mirrors, adding a phase shifting effect to the feedback generated soundscape. The piece works as a linear experimental media proposal. The experience has a total duration of 5 minutes.

Credits

Original Idea and Concept
Simon Laroche
Etienne Grenier

Photo and Video Documentation
Projet EVA

Acknowledgements
Normand Gauthier
Raphaël Demers
Fablab du PEC
Nathalie Bachand
Eastern Bloc

Sponsors