SMARTlab’s Lynne Heller at Nuit Blanche exhibition

via-graEverybody Deserves Love, Even You (2004–11)

Multidisciplinary artist and SMARTlab PhD student Lynne Heller participated in the Nuit Blanche exhibition in Toronto.  Lynne exhibited ‘Everybody Deserves Love, Even You (2004–11)’, curated by Stuart Keeler in participation with Fly by Night, The Gladstone Hotel, Scotiabank Nuit Blanche 2011.

The interactive installation used the tropes of disco lighting and cast shadows to project poetry created from promising and sly found text from thousands of spam emails. The most poignant contemporary reminder of the gap between what is real and ideal is the internet, where one spends hours nightly on personal searches; and where advertisements flutter, pop up and highjack concentrated and intimate moments. Particularly manipulative and passive-aggressive, the title of this installation, ‘Everybody Deserves Love, Even You’, was the subject line of an email. Its despondent tone addresses the contemporary cultural vulnerabilities, sadness, yearnings and desperation upon which marketers prey.

All spam is about personal allure, the attainment of beauty, love, power or wealth. ‘Everybody Deserves Love, Even You’ imitates the endless variation of these virtual promises. Various spelling tactics are employed so that recipients understand the message but computer programs do not. The messages are concocted in endless variations: often funny, always bizarre, and occasionally poetic. Reminiscent of the seductive murmur of a foreign language, a sexualised computer voice whispers the text. The overly modulated and controlled cadence emphasises the pervasiveness and monotony of spam, while at the same time characterising and transmogrifying the text.

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