Astral Prison (2021) is a video sculpture, with the content presented as moving image. Three figures are trapped within a dark, muted plane do nothing but stand and look around. After moments of observing, it becomes evident that they cannot perceive each other. They also pass through each others’ bodies like ghosts. I’ve chosen to present it through an OLED display as to emphasize the perfect black thanks to its individually lighting pixels, only illuminating the details of the bodies of the figures that touch the faint light. The video simulates a reflection of a screen that’s turned off, a reflection of society that’s so dependent on technology and media. A society that has consented to plunder and pillage, deception and tyranny.
This thought has evolved through the long lockdowns brought by the global pandemic: what if the technologies we are so dependent on is suddenly banished in our lives— like a sudden blackout? I’ve been interested with how power relations have become intertwined with technology and media and consequently how media and technology has changed the way we think and behave. Those
who wield media have all the power to control. Those who hold big data have the power to command. With media outlets from news, to advertising, to social media, accelerated with the transition to the digital, it has trapped society into a prison— is it then a prison to rehabilitate? to condition our minds? Or to perhaps enslave?
The Astral Prison encompasses the physical, digital, even the spiritual, the moral, and the political. It manifests itself as a prison without walls; its warden ruthless and manipulative, the shackles and chains invisible, and the sentence inherited generation after generation. It is our burden and our crime; the curse of being born, struggling and consuming to survive, that we are given a life sentence. It is something that cannot easily be perceived yet it is so evident; one that makes us believe that we are truly free.