(RIGHT IN) THE FEELS is a transdisciplinary project about expressing feelings in the digital age. Emotions are a basic function for our understanding of the world, and the digital has pushed affect to its extremes. Has it also changed their nature, and the way we understand and communicate them?
Click on "WEB SHOW" to discover the first part of the show, a selection of net art pieces, as well as the video for the livestreamed launch event held on September 14th.
The exhibition is open from monday to saturday, at la galerie de l'erg, rue du page 87, 2:00 p.m to 6:30 p.m.
The tools we use, the feels we feelOur world now has another layer of reality on top of it, one built by everything digital. Our lives are lived as much on the internet as in the streets. What could once seem like a distant and separate world has undeniably infiltrated every corner of our existences. What is the effect of this technological takeover on our most basic human function, our emotions?
The digital has pushed affect to its extremes, whether in the mind numbing banality of social media or the overload of viral debates; the warping of space-time or the ultra accessibility of information. On the internet, we witness touching vulnerability and honesty, as well as blatant inauthenticity. The emotional state of our digital world is affecting us in strong and visceral ways – the physicality of the internet is no longer under question, just like neuroscience has shown that emotions are first and foremost a physical reaction.
The internet has confirmed the multifaceted aspect of emotions: now more than ever, we know that emotions are social and political. In the past decade, we were sometimes painfully reminded that emotion is still the driving force of society, from the personal testimonies of the #metoo movement to the numerous fake news scandals. The internet is a whole lot of affect crashing and speeding and multiplying: memes, forums, tweets, temporary stories, emojis, tutorials, vlogs, wikipedia articles even, everything that makes up the internet is moving information loaded with expressivity and it all relies on one underlying structure: code, or in other words, pure language. The internet, akin to language, is the one of the greatest and most complex tool ever for expressing feelings, and in this light, it is impossible to assume that the medium hasn’t affected the message. We shape our tools, and thereafter they shape us. How has the internet affected our relationship to our emotions?
We process the world through feelings – finding ways of effectively expressing them in a world where nihilism rightly reigns, a world where we are more and more aware of our own shortcomings as a species, of the global complexity of, well, everything, really, is essential for staying sane and, simply, living, while we can.
Curatorial notesEach work in the show, online and physical, is associated with one of (often) more categories. Find them signaled by corresponding emojis.
I. Materiality of emotion
The works in this category, informed by the science and neuroscience of emotion and by empiric experience, speak literally about emotion. An emotion is a psychological and physical reaction to a situation. It has first an internal manifestation and generates and external reaction. It is caused by the interpretation of reality ; emotions are thus a material phenomenon.
II. The virtual is the real
Here, works explore the permeability between the worlds know as “physical” or “real” and the one said to be “virtual”. The border between them keeps blurring and they interact non-stop, the events of one spilling into the other so often that the distinction is almost outdated. These works navigate the frontier, the in-betweens, and the states of confusion or drifting that emerge.
III. Personal Identity
These artists use internet and digital tools to better define their own identity. For them, it’s a way of better understanding and managing their feelings, and a way to better know themselves and position themselves in the world. Often, they find that identity cannot be built entirely alone. Identity starts at an intimate level of personal definition, and in the end concerns a collective fight.
IV. Community & Relationships
Internet clearly is a community and network tool. What relationships are created there ? Which communities organize themselves, and how ? These works take on the question of the commons, and building links and kinship to others. Living together digitally isn’t the utopia it was at the time of the web’s beginnings, and capitalism tends to swallow and flatten everything, but internet remains an incredible tool for communication. This category explores the digital commons as a form of resistance.
V. Digital Natives
Most of the artists of the show are from a generation known as Digital Natives. They grew up with internet and have a precise understandings of its workings and codes. They hijack expectations, play with ideas of digital folklore and their works incorporate the specificity of the medium. Irony, melancholy or ecstasy are recurring feelings in their online lives.
This generation was born in mourning and what the future hold is uncertain to say the least. But day to day, many must fight to survive the chaos all around. Dystopia is already here. The works in this category are marked by the scars of a constant battle against a world whose failings appear ever more clearly.
VII. The next world
Finally, these works think, tell, dream, fear the possible futures. A “post” for all of them : post-internet, post-biodiversity, post-human...
16.10.2020 + 21.10.2020 (RIGHT IN) THE FEELS: share your feelings with Nargisse Mhammedi What is the emotional impact of our digital habits? Meditate, share and discuss collectively in a safe space. RSVP at email@example.com
16.10.2020 group talk (exclusively for womxn) from 4 pm to 7 pm, erg (1P03) 21.10.2020 group talk (open to all) from 5 pm to 7 pm, erg (1P05) 22.10.2020 erg auditorum and livestreamed online by ERG TV TALKS 3:15 pm Peggy Pierrot - on neurocapitalism and emotional design 3:45 pm Eric Cyuzuzo - on online antiracist activism 4:15 pm collective talk READINGS 5:00 pm Schematics Of Consensus - Luz De Amor 5:15 pm Herzschmerz - Butchibou 5:30 pm Poetry reading - Loïs Soleil 5:40 pm Juin sur Avril - Elke de Rijcke 5:50 pm Every time I am away from the internet, I wonder if I am loved... - Gabriel René Franjou SCREENINGS 6:30 pm Annals of private history - Amalia Ulman 6.45 pm Stuff that makes me scared - Mollysoda 6:55 pm Make something beautiful before you are dead - Steve Roggenbuck 7:00 pm Feeling For You (What the Heart Wants) - Cecile B. Evans
- May Abnet (BE)
- Mathilde Block & Louis Garrido (BE+FR)
- Tega Brain & Sam Lavigne (AUS+US)
- Fiona Brunet (FR)
- Laura Brunisholz (FR)
- Martin Campillo (FR)
- Sarah Dessardo (FR)
- Alexa Detorakis & Dimitri Karastokas (CAN/GRE)
- Giuliana Diada (IT/BE)
- Darian Donovan Thomas (US)
- Héloïse Doret (BE)
- Xavier Duffaut (BE)
- Thiaba Egutchi Diop & Leo O’Faigan Konishi (FR/JP/SEN & FR/IRL/JP)
- Gabriel René Franjou (FR/USA)
- Marie Frenois (FR)
- Madeleine Gerles (FR)
- Léo Gillet (BE)
- TPO (Technological Powers Observatory) (BE)
- Miebi Iyeyemi (FR/USA)
- Joséphine Jadot (BE)
- Clément Lambelet (CH/FR)
- Zeste Le Reste (FR/BE)
- Hadrien Loumaye (BE)
- Sophia Msaoubi (FR)
- Sylvain Peters (BE)
- Victoria Primina (BE)
- Kénia Raphaël (BE)
- Gladys Sauvage (BE)
- Laurel Schwulst & Gene McHugh (USA)
- Davy Styles (USA)
- Dorian Timmermans (BE)
- Yanmeng Zhang (CHN)
- Adebissi Agnes Adeye Butchibou (DE/BEN)
- Luz de Amor (CO/BE)
- Gabriel René Franjou (FR/USA)
- Elke de Rijcke (BE)
- Loïs Soleil (FR)
Speakers & Interventions
Here you will find a selection of net art pieces that constitute the first part of the exhibition.
Each work in the show, online and physical, is associated with at least one category. Find them signaled by corresponding emojis. Read more about these categories in the "ABOUT" menu.
- Get Well Soon - Tega Brain & Sam Lavigne
An archive of comments posted on online medical fundraisers, an archive of mutual aid in response to a ruthless for-profit health system.
- Forever Loading Web Pages - Xavier Duffaut
The frustrating experience of content never loading, leaving the well-known interface forever empty, is transformed into a meditative one.
- Love Letter - Thiaba Egutchi Diop & Leo O'Faigan Konishi
An intimate email correspondence where are intimately discussed plural identities, that we are invited to follow as it unfolds.
- My Calling (web) - Gabriel René Franjou
A text to copy, paste and spread as a simple and intense lifetool.
- Please Mr Officer - Miebi Iyeyemi
A transcript of the events that lead to George Floyd’s murder, stripped of the trauma porn that fueled the mass sharing of the images online.
- The way the cookie crumbles - Joséphine Jadot
A blog with recipes for comfort food collected all over the internet that show a deliberate practice of emotion.
- When all of my friends are on at once - Gene McHugh & Laurel Schwulst
Early memories of being online, from a generation whose personal development is inseparable from the internet.
- Erhewon - Sophia Msaoubi
Erewhon is a journey and a spatial metaphor between the here and now.
- Things I liked - Zeste Le Reste
A daily list of things that made Zeste happy, like training for joy.
- 3e3e3e3 - Davy Styles
A web labyrinth that is both evasive and brutally honest.
- My Favorite Color - Dorian Timmermans
A minimal and slowed down blog where the only piece of data shared is Dorian’s favorite color.
Watch the replay of the livestream for the launch of the first part of the show that took place on September 14th.
- 00:00:00 tour of the web show
- 00:31:15 scr33nsh4re l0v3 11 by Victoria Primina (performance)
- 00:41:50 "A drop of love in the cloud", a text by Fei Liu (reading)
- 00:48:45 Acte Bonté (concert)
- 01:06:45 Neopets Rave b2b Xaxalxe (DJ set) Egutchi (live)
- 01:35:41 end credits
A TANGLED WEB OF FEELINGSOne thing we know about feelings : they happen. They are an internal manifestation at first and then an external reaction. We also know that we can’t help but express ourselves and thus we built tools to help us do just this. Funny thing is, those tools also helped complexify the feelings themselves, and we’ve been stuck in this feedback loop ever since. It can be overwhelming. How do you feel about art ? How do you feel about the internet ?
We also know the same thing about net art : it happens. Everything inside a computer is a performance ; a web page is assembled on demand pulling bits and pieces from across the network in such a complex manner that it’s a miracle it works at all. This network is ever changing, full of data we set in motion. An algorithm is still a series of decision made by someone, it’s infused with human sentimentality in some way or another. All this moving information makes up a nice tangled web of feelings, and while the network is primarily used for repression or value extraction, it’s true purpose remains, simply, communication.
The net art pieces we collected here express joy, care, terror or melancholy from within the network : they act on it, and they act on the people participating in creating them. This also means you, the visitor, clicking on the link and summoning the art in your browser. Hopefully, these pieces will act on you as they act on the network : creating, expressing, and untangling feelings.
Here is an ever-evolving list of ressources around the themes of the show. Would you like to add something ? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Internet Archive
- Net Art Anthology
- E-flux Journal
- The Wrong
- DIS Magazine
- New Aesthetic
- Library Of the Printed Web
- K-punk Archives
- Usbek & Rica
- Codedrop.net - Arts Numériques
- Post Digital Printing Archives
- Post Internet Wordpress by Gene McHugh (via Net Art Anthology)
Article & Essays
- A drop of love in the cloud by Fei Liu
- Digital ressources for a Mouvement Against Police Violence
- An Essay On The New Aesthetic by Bruce Sterling
- In Defense of the Poor Image by Hito Steyerl
- Politics of Post-Representation by Hito Steyerl
- Xenofeminism - A Politics for Alienation by Laboria Cuboniks
- Baudrillard in Cyberspace: Internet, Virtuality, and Postmodernity by Mark Nunes
- We Know How You Feel by Raffi khachatourian
- Affect Theory and the New Age of Anxiety
- This Is Where It Ends: The Denouement of Post-Internet Art in Jon Rafman’s Deep Web
- The Rise and Fall of Internet Art Communities by Kelsey Ables
- Empathy is Not Enough, Part 1 by Lana Polansky
- On the “We” of Transmediale By Phoebe Cripps
- Cat Pictures Please by Naomi Kritzer
- The Meta-Ironic Era by Seong-Young Her
- On Oasis of Horror in an Internet of Boredom by Angela Nagle
- Hell is Other Internet People by Josie Thaddeus-Johns
- Trevor Paglen Plumbs The Internet by Tim Sohn
- Why do change our avatars after a Tragedy ? By Vinson Cunnigham
- The Secrets of the Wood Wide Web by Robert McFarlane
- The quest to make code work like biology by Cade Metz
- If Walt Whitman Vlogged by Kenneth Goldsmith
- The Internet Lives in a Huge Hotel in Manhattan
- In Praise of the Flaneur by Bijan Stephen
- Scientists explain how happiness makes us less creative by Ephrat Livni
- Trending Trauma by Lauren Michele Jackson
- Technologie : la rebellion ou la survie par Evgeny Morozov
- Google’s improbable deal to recreate the real world in VR by Cade Metz
- Post-Internet : Notes On The Internet and Art by Gene McHugh
- A Cyborg Manifesto by Donna Harraway
- Parables for the Virtual - Movement, Affect, Sensation by Brian Massumi
- Journal Of Visual Culture : Meme Issue
- Computer Lib Dream Machine
- The Digital Sublime - Myth, Power and Cyberspace by Vincent Mosco
- New Dark Age - Technology and The End of the Future by James Briddle
- The Wretched of the Screen by Hito Steyerl
- The Internet Does Not Exist - e-flux Journal
- Cecile B Evans Interview : The Virtual is Real
- Cecile B Evans : What The Heart Wants Lecture
- Recode by Vox
- Internet Historian (WARNING ! Maybe an incel sort of ?)