Safeporting

 

solo show at KIM? Contemporary Art Center, Riga

2019

Safeporting is a term primarily used in the medical field — it's the practice of guiding a patient through a procedure by verbally describing what’s going to be done to their body before it happens. This idea can be easily transferred to any other interpersonal communication. In simpler terms, to safeport someone is to tell them what you are going to do before you do it in order to prevent them from experiencing the anxiety of being surprised.

It's a well intended gesture that creates a false sense of companionship. The exhibition examines this idea through the theme of human-technology interaction, reevaluating a personal relationship with electronic communication devices and questioning how their frequent usage for such tasks as online dating or remote work might impact one’s body and mind.

 

We get to have out-of-body adventures in cyberspace, but this body is what we come home to.

Going to bed with the phone next to my pillow as if it were my partner, the light of the screen blinding me as I wake up from slumber and read messages at 3 a.m. Hunching over the laptop for most of the day, painfully stretching my cracking limbs as I get up. Gently carrying these gadgets from room to room, untangling their wires, plugging things in and out, making sure their batteries are charged enough while I myself feel less and less energetic. Turning on “night brightness” for the screen. Feeling anxious about the lack of control these user friendly interfaces entail. Trying an app for meditation and receiving patronizing notifications — a reminder of failing to grasp the concept of mindfulness. Going on a hike to update Instagram stories with some shots of nature. Ending up feeling overwhelmed by the amount of images being thrown back at me and saddened by the amount of people who are uninterested in the content I’ve provided. Returning to a more organic lifestyle and ordering that one “zero waste” product online. Forever being haunted by targeted ads in my feed. Putting the phone face-down on the table. Boasting about a technology detox on social media.

Exhibition text by Valentinas Klimašauskas

Photos by Ansis Starks

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