Now that the honeymoon with social media is over, you’re more likely to hear somebody grumbling about Facebook inspiring low-level anxiety or the fatigue that comes with performing identity than a euphoric celebration of social web services. Taking this skepticism one step further is The Object of the Internet, a new installation by artists Etienne Grenier and Simon Laroche (aka Project EVA). Developed for the “The Dead Web” exhibition that is currently showing at Eastern Bloc in Montréal, the piece is a kinetic ‘vision machine’ that viewers step inside in order to surrender themselves to a kaleidoscopic abstraction of their likeness. “Once someone inserts their head into the installation and sits on the stool, it greets them with a ‘hello’, lights turn up and the mirrors are set in a position that makes the viewer see themselves on all sides,” the duo write of the beginning of the experience. Coloured LEDs flash in sync with the gradual acceleration of the surrounding mirrors and the viewer’s reflection starts dancing around their field of view. “As time progresses, the spin and light flickering and rotation climax to a very high speed, which completely dissects and blurs the viewer’s reflection.”
This smear of light trails is a zone of total acceleration and disembodiment.