This Summer, Gazelli Art House is delighted to present Poisonous Antidote by Mark Farid. The London-based interdisciplinary artist will continue his investigation into conceptions of individual privacy and its metamorphosis in contemporary society through technology.
Following Edward Snowden’s leaks of 2013 and current trends in British politics*, consensus of the public majority suggests that privacy is no longer valued as a protected right. In Poisonous Antidote, Farid calls to attention this erosion of privacy and its relation to the advent of social media, augmenting the Internet’s role in how one’s public perception is shaped. Through these carefully curated portals into one’s private life, individuals willingly relinquish privacy on online platforms in exchange for edited social stardom, eliminating from publication those moments that don’t make the grade. An acute awareness of this digital documentation promotes a subconscious self-validation through actions of one’s peers. Self-fulfilment derives from the number of ’likes’ the projected image amasses; thus, it is through this online editorial that social behaviour is increasingly entrenched:
“We have the ability to mould our online personae into whoever we want ourselves to be while remaining, on the other side of the screen, Joe Blogs from Leicester, born in the early ‘90s, and yet, our image of who we want to be is standardised to the norms of every other social media account user, and where different, is defined in being different in reaction to the social norms which the online structure has bred.”
— Mark Farid
Farid argues that through the 24-hour accessibility of our digital selves, privacy and in turn true individuality, is eroded and exchanged for an hegemonised and globalised cultural identity, stored publicly and permanently, conforming to political, social and philosophical ideals, norms and thought processes. Individuality in the facade of conformity cements itself it’s illusion, as our online persona crave the same validation as celebrities.
For his debut with the gallery, Farid will create a unique form of portraiture that reflects these socio-technical trends whereby for 31 days his live digital footprint will be broadcast online as part of his online residency with Gazell.io. This will include realtime public presentation of all his emails, text messages, phone calls, Skype, Facebook Messenger, Facebook tagged photos, photographs and videos, locations, web browsing, apps and music Mark is listening to. There will be no restrictions on the content publicised, irrespective of date, time, duration, location or contact Mark amasses. This digital portrait in progress will be made public for the whole world via purpose-built website that can be accessed in real time by anyone around the world.
In parallel with his online residency, the artist will take over the ground floor of the Dover Street gallery. Poisonous Antidote will showcase a physical manifestation of this expanding digital portrait: an abstract sculpture formed of 4 unique parts, each one portraying a week within Farid’s life. The resulting digital portrait will be a collaboration between the artist and a specially commissioned designer working with 3D printing technology.
Poisonous Antidote succeeds Farid’s 2015 Cambridge-based project ‘Data Shadow’* and precedes, ‘I Have Nothing To Hide’ and ‘Seeing I’, both planned to take place in 2017.