Virtual Identities
Palazzo Strozzi
  Strozzina
       
         

 

 


The Catalogue
Video stills
Digital video, 5’
© Chris Oakley 2004


Installation view at CCC Strozzina, Firenze
Photo: Martino Margheri

Chris Oakley (1971, Chester, UK; lives and works in Oxford, UK) creates works that explore how media and technology shape our experiences of the world. From the intervention of the camcorder in the tourist's first-hand experience to the engineered narratives of reality television, he explores processes of fictionalizing material captured from life in an analogy to the mass media's increasingly uniform treatment of fiction and the factual. He is also interested in the ideas of collective memory and shared experience as they have been shaped by the mass media, where our sense of shared experience is at odds with our isolated experience of consumption. Recent screenings and exhibitions include: (2009) Precarious Structures, Palinsesti, San Vito al Tagliamento; CINE ANIMAL, San Sebastian; X_Science: Cinema between Science and Science Fiction, Genoa; (2008) Nuclear: Art & Radioactivity, London; Clapham Picture House; Wrexham Arts Centre; Surveillance and Control, Centre of Art La Regenta, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and Centre for Contemporary Art, Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

In The Catalogue Chris Oakley presents the scenario of a perfect world of consumption, where a video surveillance system films the interior of a department store in which the individuals, together with their data, become entities-identities traceable and transparent thanks to their personal data. The individuals are followed through the crowd by motion tracking and are given graphical labels that list their purchase habits and general information regarding themselves.
The Catalogue is a symbolic rendering of the logic of a computerized market research system, which classifies individuals using a wide variety of data in order to assess their buying power and their future needs. The identity of each individual is reduced to the analysis and prediction of his or her consumption habits. The title of the work highlights the fact that each individual who meets the automatic eye of the video camera is entered in a database, a catalogue in which each person must be assigned to predetermined categories, thus assuming his or her place in the system. Today the mere possession of a smartphone, which easily allows us to make financial transactions, communicate with our contacts and pinpoint our location at any time, gives the few large companies that manage these online services - Apple and Google above all others - the ability to know who and where we are at all times, making us completely transparent.



    EVAN BADEN
CHRISTOPHER BAKER
NATALIE BOOKCHIN
ROBBIE COOPER
etoy.CORPORATION
NICHOLAS FELTON
LES LIENS INVISIBLES
CHRIS OAKLEY
SOCIABLE MEDIA GROUP

MICHAEL WOLF
Special project: I AM NEDA
Special project: ME 2.0


         
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