Just Call Him and See If He Picks Up

"The video thematizes the distortion of human emotional communication in the digital age in ‘Just call him to see if he picks up’. In this work, we witness a digital chat that actually took place between two sisters, against a background of something that at first seems like a dull road movie, and in which one sister claims that their father is dead. As the conversation – entirely typed out – unfolds, it seems that this claim had been based on feelings and paranoid assumptions expressed during another chat, which had nothing to do with reality. By the end of the video, both parties seem not only metaphorically to drown in their inability to communicate emotions, but it moreover seems painfully clear that this inability is largely affected by the kind of media with which they conduct the communication. In this almost purely registrative, quasi artifcially constructed video, which in no way expresses any opinion, Margarita Maximova warns about the dangers of the use of social media technology in communicating emotional messages. Such technology is of course without hierarchy in its own right, and every (emotional) impulse is communicated in real time, with the result – in this case tragic – of trivializing something that might otherwise have been profound sadness." Thibaut Verhoeven
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Installion picture Dirk Pauwels - Vrienden v/h S.M.A.K - Alongside "The Mediator"