Image: Kate Geck, Window commission installation view, Conflict in My Outlook_Don’t Be Evil, UQ Art Museum, 2021. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Louis Lim. 

Kate Geck, 

Front window commission: 30 July 2021 – 22 January 2022 

Part of Conflict in My Outlook_Don't Be Evil: 30 July 2021 – 22 January 2022 

Curator: Anna Briers  

How can we describe the Internet with emojis? These hieroglyphs of our contemporary age are synonymous as nonverbal cues to enhance online communication. Kate Geck’s window work entitled   (2021) amplifies the language of the Internet, playing with scale to reinforce its affect on our public and private lives. Her practice often addresses the social media anxiety and network fatigue caused by the devices we keep in our pockets, which are tantamount to the most invasive surveillance mechanisms we have ever known.  

Seemingly spilling out from the brim of the museum in a cascade of colour and glitch, the vernacular of the Internet is used here to communicate both its dystopian and utopian dimensions. Filter bubbles remind us that we are living in our own information universes. Chains evoke the insidious trap of surveillance capitalism, keeping us scrolling while extracting our data. Loading symbols recall our lockdown realities, where we have been perpetually online while IRL (in real life) has been on pause.  

In this work, URL and IRL merge. Butterflies and cherry blossom emojis— age-old symbols of metamorphosis and renewal—suggest the possibility of a more socially equitable, post-Coronavirus future. These hopeful motifs collide with the ultimate symbol of pandemic individualism: toilet paper. 

Born in 1982 in Brisbane, Kate Geck lives and works in Melbourne, Australia. Kate is a media artist who works across installation, textiles, augmented reality and code. Invoking the language of the Internet, her glitch and emoji-laden aesthetic critiques our hyper-mediated age, creating immersive experiences and sites of respite and resistance. Recent work critically speculates around alternative agendas and possibilities for networked technologies.