Replica Sentiments

Fabienne Hess

French Riviera was host to Hess’ exhibition Replica Sentiments in 2014. The gallery displayed wall hangings spilling across the space, made of a luxury silk that contrasted with garishly coloured and pixelated imagery of designer watch branding and slogans. The notion of digital trash again feeds into her work. The exhibition was complemented by a written piece by Basia Lewandowska Cummings, titled ‘We’re here to help’, inspired by Hess’ techno-vernacular.

“Between people and technologies, we produced new languages. Some, we co-authored: new words and strange idioms bleed out from tiny screens, edging into everyday use, agitating and teasing at the boundary between RL and that pixellated, vast territory of digital life. But others spill forth from systems themselves, their syntax decided by algorithms, their sentiments unknown. They feel oddly familiar, intimate; they speak to all of us, to our desires, they cling to ‘we’ and ‘us’ and ‘you’. Start dreaming, because the dream has never been so close to reality. Others speak the narrative of software; words suspended in new grammars, encoding actions, instructive, building invisible architectures to shape interaction, to ‘design’ experience. They are familiar words in odd constellations, clouds of punctuation in all the wrong places. In crossing over, from RL into that digital elsewhere, language extends: bots become caught in tautologous conversation; broken systems babble their own technovernacular; poetry becomes automatic, compiled from an infinite list of speculative phrases. The algorithms run riot. It is useless to remind you that this is a frustrating and dangerous thing because you have been living with it for years. Caught between sentiments real and imagined, spoken and generated, who speaks? Our friends have been sent to a hidden folder; filtered, analysed, then discarded.”


Rediscover the exhibition:

Image credit: French Riviera 1988 Gallery/Fabienne Hess




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