03 September – 13 October, 2018
HYPERPERSONAL explores the intensities of romantic intimacy facilitated by hyperpersonal communications and calls into question the inevitable consequences of idealization.
The hyperpersonal perspective theorizes that Computer Mediated Communication can be just as, if not more intimate than face-to face communication as users are inclined to elicit more self-disclosure. Within online dating, both parties idealize the other and present an idealized version of themselves, creating a feedback loop reinforcing the idealized perception of oneself and the other (Walther, 1996). Stafford and Reske’s 1990 study Idealization and Communication in Long-Distance Premarital Relationships provided the beginnings of defining the hyperpersonal perspective, revealing that long-distance couples idealized their relationship more than face-to-face couples due to their limited and less frequent communication. This idealization facilitated an overall higher satisfaction rate with their relationship. Idealization in technology driven romantic endeavours can lead to disappointing in-person meetings, unexpected incompatibilities and lack of IRL connection (Kallis, 2017).
The vitrine immerses the viewer into remnants of love, limerence, and regret within a bedroom. The wall features a bulletin board carrying real heartfelt love letters above a cheeky cake which reads ‘Congrats! You’re Projecting!’. A bejewelled knife and head of a corded phone ominously dangle above. At the bottom of the vitrine, coloured party balloons and crumpled up love letters litter the floor.
Special thanks to Desiree Chester for crafting the cake.
Kallis, Rhiannon, “Swipe Left or Right but What Happens for the Rest of the Night? A Qualitative Approach to Understanding the Life Cycle of Tinder Relationships” (2017). Theses and Dissertations (All). 1504.
Stafford, Laura & R. Reske, James. (1990). Idealization and Communication in Long-Distance Premarital Relationships. Family Relations. 39. 274. 10.2307/584871.
Walther, J. B. (1996). Computer-mediated communication: Impersonal, interpersonal, and hyperpersonal interaction. Communication Research, 23(1), 3-43.
Rebecca Sweets is a multidisciplinary artist based in Toronto exploring the challenges and rewards of digital technology within intimacy, identity, and the imagination. She has exhibited at Gardiner Museum, Gladstone Hotel, and Super Wonder Gallery. You can find her art collective at fb.com/nipslipcollective.