Jernej Čuček Gerbec
Jernej Čuček Gerbec is a media agnostic artist with an interest in theory and visual culture. His work has been shown in Slovenia, Finland and USA. His artistic practice is not concerned with medium or concept but with observations. Observations of the common, conventional and the widespread. The artist finds poetics in the simple acts of life, recurring conversations, pictures of random passers-by and quotidian struggles. The end result is never a simple act of documentation, but varies between installation, photography, video, text and sculpture. In his work, he tries to highlight the things that may go unnoticed, while at the same time making the end message ambiguous and unclear to retain its former allure. He earned his MA in Visual Culture and Contemporary Art at Aalto University and a BA in Photography at VIST.
With this complexity of relations that a person has to navigate since the emergence of new technology it is not surprising that our minds are on a subconscious level preoccupied with the performance of identity.
The essay provides an introspection into the relationship between our identities and technology. It aims to show how our identities are affected by new modes of operation that were less accessible before the emergence of social networks. Through an observation of popular media (i.e. TV shows) and social media, it reveals how the self is convoluted, resulting into a variety of performed identities. It explores how through social media, individuals are able to create perceived identities, which are to various degrees lived or completely fabricated. The essay uses iZombie and Orphan Black as case studies to showcase how life and the media are intertwined, resulting in the latter holding a mirror to the former. With a distinction between the online and offline personality, it presents the augmentation of identity with the aid of new interfaces, online intermediaries that add to the interpersonal contact; from the initial landline phone to more current modes of communication (Facebook, Tinder…) the essay points out how levels of anonymity aid the emergence of new identities. It provides a mirror of contemporary life and the ways the augmented self-influences the ways we understand and view our identities.