Based on some recent research, it is now suggested that we feel the same way about our smartphones as we do about our homes. It is mainly a result of those social applications that let us check out of the reality surrounding us, anytime, anywhere, so instead we can be wherever else we prefer: in a chat window with a family member or a friend, on the Instagram account of a favourite pet, on the YouTube channel of a beloved influencer, or even in a live stream from outer space. At the same time, it is not only the protective warmth of home that surrounds us through the mobile screen, but the disturbing impulses of the outside world can also find their way to us 24/7: in the form of a late-night work email, a harassing message or comment, or even the perpetual and upsetting flow of news and fake news.
As a result, the mechanism of social media has the power to trigger extreme conditions: it is capable of generating previously unimaginable social cooperation and solidarity actions, but it is also the hotbed of exclusion, surveillance, competition and stigmatization. Its logic reshapes fundamentally how we interact not only as individuals but also as professionals, and not only with each other but also with companies, political leaders, and even artificial intelligence. We do all this on a public stage but we are rarely aware that the information we share reaches whom and in what form, and that, at the end of the day, who harvests the profit gained from our data.
The title of the exhibition reflects on these conditions: users mostly use the #IFeelSeen hashtag in those situations when they can identify with a mostly funny example – in a way, they signal: You caught me, I also do this. But the phrase also carries other meanings: it can refer to a happy state when one finally feels they belong somewhere, that they can show their true colours; at the same time, it evokes that sinister and slightly paranoid feeling when we suspect we’re being watched. In this group exhibition, by presenting works of young Hungarian fine and media artists, we analyze the questions of conspiracy theories and surveillance capitalism, our fetishizing relationship with our devices, aggression and harassment, the redefined body image of social media, escapism and the ways of how relationships alter in the online space.
The exhibition was implemented in the framework of MODEM’s open call for young curators.
Exhibiting artists: BIRÓ Dávid, ÉLIÁS Tamás, HORVÁTH Gideon, KÚTVÖLGYI-SZABÓ Áron, LÁZÁR Dóri, PAPP Sándor Dávid, VÁCZI Lilla
Curator: SÁRAI Vanda
Exhibition & graphic design : KATONA Barbara