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Roseworld

Project type

Installation

Date

April, 2022

Location

Toronto

In literature, poetry, and mythology, the rose garden is a laden symbol, often signifying the promise land of eternal reward. In the age of the internet, “heaven” takes on many definitions that stretch and warp across the deep-sea cables that make up the world wide web. What is the promise of the digital age? For entities like Meta and the $4 trillion wellness industry, eternal bliss is within the mind and the body, or health and the ego – and they are for sale. In this new age of endless attention mining and self-personalization, it is up to the artist to resist knowing the self in quantifiable terms.

Roseworld encounters this struggle in two ways; it serves as a pseudo meditation tool in the information detoxification process while also contributing to the toxic ideology of reaching mental perfection through self-help services, thus further capitalizing on the peaceful mind. Once within the Rosegarden, the viewer finds themselves within a digital vacuum that may cause peace or intense inner examination, either way emphasizing the individualist basis of meditative psychic spaces on the market today.

Below its function as a panacea of swash buckled corporate visual motifs. this work also engages with video game culture through its resemblance to virtual reality gaming headsets. Small moments within the virtual environment that accompanies the headset allude to “easter eggs,” or data within video games that hint towards the identities of the unseen developers through humor that does not relate to the narrative of the video game itself. This language within the work encourages the viewer to look behind the curtain to catch glimpses of personal data and narrative that bleed through the corporate façade.

The final manifestation of Roseworld poses a multifaceted speculative reality that falls between the lines of therapy and snake oil. The resultant space seeks to complicate the individual as a collection of consciously and unconsciously surrendered data in the hopes of creating freedom through unknowing and misdirection.

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