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The Fauna of Mirrors,

4k video,

seamless loop (02:38),

2023

Philip Speakman

Chapel Perilous
HD video
07:57 looped
2023

 

Viewing link on request.
 

Chapel Perilous ‘weirdens’ a familiar online encounter to propose the internet as something like the forest of gothic literature; a place of transformation and ensnarement, enlightenment and radicalisation, wonder and horror all stemming from the same source. The uncanny nature of social media’s performative story telling and the lore-core drive to narrative becomes heightened to the extreme, as the work connects the infectious stories and viral videos we encounter whilst scrolling our digital lives to the superstitions and folk tales of past ages.

 

Through references to structural film, horror movies, contemporary internet trends, and fin de siècle weird fiction, Chapel Perilous recreates the echo chambers of online discourse, dragging the viewer down the rabbit hole as it does. With a narration that crumbles under its own weight, the work’s narrative begins to eat its own tale, borrowing the ouroboros logic of TikTok videos to trap the viewer in an infinite strange loop. Set against a backdrop of the internet’s conspiratorial and cultic milieu, open source myths-making and everyday online mundanity, the work considers how facts and beliefs are constructed under these conditions, and the role of play, performativity and storytelling within these information economies.

Exhibited at Slade Graduate Degree Show 2023.

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