“Your appearance now is what we call residual self image. It is the mental projection of your digital self.”
―Morpheus to Neo
Online we are generally encouraged to simplify our responses through the binaries of active or passive or with emoticons that (similarly to theatre masks) simplify and amplify emotional states. Data is sold as precious signs indicating what and when someone might consume. Increasingly this data is created by algorithms imitating human behaviour. Social bots generate clicks and views on clone websites, hacking the monetary flows of marketing. If the money can be made without us are we still the primary life or are we to be considered residual images of our digital selves?
“The richest people in the world look for and build networks. Everyone else looks for work.”
Residual or passive income is income that does not require you to work continuously. While readily available to some, for many it is a dream attainable only though participation in pyramid schemes. The dream is to not have to work and to live of the residues of ones own and others consumption.
Residual Life Institute is one such scheme, promising you the prospect of generating passive income just by using and recruiting others to use their services. Ironically they promote their service by saying they will donate money to food banks for every transaction you make, adding a step below you on the ladder of residual dependency.
In a world where consumption is the minimum requirement for being considered living, residual income schemes seem like a form of self cannibalism. Perhaps there is a secret alchemical truth in this; a serpent eating its own tail.
Olga Pedan (1988, Kharkov, Ukraine) is a Swedish artist based in Germany. She graduated from the Städelschule, Frankfurt am Main (2014). Her work spans various media, ranging from painting and costume making to installation, video and photography.
Readings by Crispin Best, Melissa Gordon and Ghislaine Leung
30 writers, artists and curators were invited to contribute a text of theirs to The Reading Room. Each person then also suggested another text by someone else. The room has both the pieces from invited contributors as well as their suggestions on display for the month. You are most welcome to stop by and have a read…
Zuzanna Bartoszek, Crispin Best, Harry Burke, David Raymond Conroy, Andrew Durbin, Rozsa Farkas, Dan Fox, Caspar Heinemann, Juliana Huxtable, Orit Gat, Gaybar, Melissa Gordon, Chris Kraus, Emily La Barge, Ghislaine Leung, Laura Mclean Ferris, Cathy Osterberg, Naomi Pearce, Heather Phillipson, Paul Pieroni, Joana Rafael, Ariana Reines, Rory Rowan, SALT, Derica Sheilds, Amy Sherlock, Keston Sutherland, Maya Tounta, Camilla Wills.
Other selected texts include:
Kathy Acker, Douglas Adams, Aria Dean, Jodi Dean, Leslie Feinberg, Tom Gidley, Aurelia Guo, Gary Indiana, Joey de Jesus, Barbara Mor, Gary Indiana, Clarence Major, Maggie Nelson, Cady Noland, Zach Ozma, Cecilia Pavon, Gillian Rose, Mary Robison, Bruno Schulz, Astra Taylor, Frank B. Wilders.
Part of a larger series of work around images pulled from a pharmaceutical institutions algorithmic database, rearranged; the systematisation of liminal, hormonal, and linear development intersected by the memory of sex(less) education classes and pro-reproduction adult enticements.
Direct exposure on to photographic paper blanks out information; ingestion, digestion and its eventual output. Areas that are fully exposed to the light become blackened. Information makes itself explicitly oblique, logged but incomputable.
Booms in consumption and production driven by new consumer wealth where the “less but better” dream of industrial design finds solvency within economic liberalisation policies that champion austerity, privatisation of public care services and mass deregulation.
Jess Wiesner is an artist currently living and working in London. She attended de Ateliers in Amsterdam and has been exhibiting with both collaborative projects and solo work including at Hessel Museum, New York; Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridge; Chisenhale Gallery, London; Tate Modern, London; CIC, Cairo; Kunsthall Oslo. She recently attended a Rupert residency programme and will be resident artist at Cove Park, Scotland later this year.
I pulled at a bit of loose thread, it had attached itself to my leg, by my leg, under the sleeve of high performance running bottoms. I pulled it in a tight fist with a quick resistance to snap it away, but it slid, smooth, into the round of my last finger, slicing it open. It was a light cut to the skin, a groove felt against another finger. The sensory imperfection of feeling a lack, a thing that isn’t a thing but a gap on a boundary because there must have been a steady and consistent exchange of sensory information between the two fingers rubbing against each other that is now interrupted by a thin parting. But I register it as a bump. It feels like a ridge made of air, a non-being and something no longer apprehended by the contours of the body. The skin as both perceiving object and subject of perception. This slight groove of parted skin felt as its opposite, as an interrupting presence.
I walk out of a bright room at the ICA, I am reading an early script of The Imitation Game at 2am in a hotel room waiting for you to return, I am deleting browsing history, I’m outside in the New York heat hopping between air conditioned interiors, I am the bleached-out colour from eyelids that have been in the sun too long, I am buying new trainers that are shopped in a specialist discounted store, I am the corporate blue of Facebook, I am hot dogs in a pizza crust.