It’s Kind of a Scary Feeling
Exhibited at the Banff Centre for the Arts and Creativity (2019), and at Garden gallery in Los Angeles (2018)
Live observations performed by Matthew Lindenberg, Joanna Richardson, Von Curtis and Amy Golden
Software programming created by Eric Heep
It’s Kind of a Scary Feeling is a site-specific, multi-channel projection combining live observation and pre-recorded text sourced from social media sites. Yezbick juxtaposes live transcriptions with chat threads from sites such as Nextdoor.com and TripAdvisor.com on topics relevant to property ownership, private security and tourism. Recombining these threads, she makes apparent how banal attitudes towards safety, security and consumption lie at the very foundation of neo-imperialist oppression represented through everyday discussions online. The chat threads are interspersed with typed text by live performers staged throughout the exhibition.
Casually observing the audience members, the performers are camouflaged from behind laptops, noting how visitors in the space are engaging and moving through the exhibition, who is and is not present, and how viewers are responding to their presence. While the performers appear to be typing into chat boxes online, their messages emerge as enlarged live projections in the space, creating an uncanny proximity of the actions in the room to online discussion threads.
Their transcriptions reference a history of empirical study, and draw into focus base desires and fears underlying socio-cultural knowledge production: the longing for clarity, to feel slightly removed from or above the unpredictability of our lives. It’s Kind of a Scary Feeling questions this seat of power by making empirical study itself a subject to be scrutinized. Drawing observation back in on itself, Yezbick connects how societal attempts to structure life’s precarity play out in interactions online and confronts us with how we create false narratives of safety, security and fear.