My Domestic Routines
Almost every aspect of our lives is now subject to regimes of monitoring. Using transportation infrastructures and accessing shared spaces requires membership and compliance with public and, more often, commercial digital network codes. From the biometric imprints taken at checkpoints to the vehicle tags needed to drive through tollbooths, from the history-tracking smart cards of many mass transit systems to the constant video recording in public spaces and workplaces, our cities watch and track us. Increasingly, movement through the city has less to do with the quality, design or programme of urban spaces and more to do with the command and control systems connected to them.
But control systems are not only organising cities, police actions, borders and online behaviour, they are also present in the most intimate aspects of our lives. The corollary to the self-monitoring of social media are the monitoring devices that have entered homes. Marketed under the rubrics of “smart living”, “health and wellness” and “mindfulness,” these self-focused products offer tantalising opportunities for consumers to disrupt their domestic routine and innovate their lifestyles. Taking the form of biometric data-collecting wearables, chirpy digital assistants and fully integrated command and control systems tasked with monitoring security sensors and optimising energy use, these products make digital-collar workers out of consumers, whose data is sold to the highest bidder. Undoubtedly, these forces are reshaping domestic space – this exhibition explores how.
My Domestic Routines comprises a film and a physical installation. The installation displays a catalogue of readily available smart products sourced from IKEA, Amazon, Google and Wyze. A recursive routine connects these proprietary systems and casts them in a never-ending performance of detection and response. The film presents a composite image of Farzin Lotfi-Jam and his home rendered through the attentive vision of the smart home industry. The film reveals how regimes of monitoring have produced a neurotic domestic subject simultaneously obsessed with seeking ever more representations of his domestic life, while securitising himself against the imagined fears lurking in the American suburban imaginary. Our domestic routines may seem banal, even scripted and contrived. This exhibition captures a feedback loop between domestic desire, data collection and the insidious possibilities of convenience.
Farzin Lotfi-Jam, Arseny Pekurovsky, Christopher Arya Rouhi, Allison Wenner
Watch the artist talk Scales of Realtime by Farzin Lotfi-Jam on the link below.
Production of the exhibition:
Aksioma – Institute for Contemporary Art, Ljubljana, 2023
the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia and the Municipality of Ljubljana
Thanks: Center Rog Creative Hub