Disputation between rocks and hearts

installation, 2018/2019
Exhibited at Apa Kabar? What's New? at MAMA, Rotterdam, 2019; curated by Maria Lamslag Photo by Lavinia Xausa

The installation explores contemporary visual communication and makes a connection to its broad history - at first humans were communicating through figurative images as cave paintings, there was a transition to text and now, due to technological support we are transitioning again to communicating primarily with figurative imagery in the form of images, GIFs and video.

The installation features a series of GIFs (used to express emotions in chat apps) which are assembled in order to have a conversation. The reference is Sumerian disputations, short stories written in the 3rd millennium BC on clay tablets addressing philosophical topics such as humanity's place in the world.

Part of an extended research about the transition between communicating with text to communicating with images in online conversations and the use of animated GIFs as rhetorical devices. The goal of the research is to investigate the potential of GIFs to counteract problematic effects of media-based online communication, like shaping an environment where objective facts won’t have much influence in shaping public opinion.

© Oana Clitan 2024