Face off

28.10.2016 W Magazine : The Sharded Self : Placebo Pets
Placebo Pets by Lizzie Fitch and Ryan Trecartin for W Magazine, US

US – W magazine’s November art issue stars supermodels Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid as Placebo Pets with an extraterrestrial owner.

  • Knees, elbows and teeth are deliberately Photoshopped, drawing attention to the digital manipulation of contemporary beauty standards
  • Key to the narrative is that the characters inhabit a post-gender, post-race and post-identity world

Artists Lizzie Fitch and Ryan Trecartin transformed the celebrities into ultra-domesticated, ultra-friendly humanoid creatures with prosthetics resembling Snapchat’s animal filters, and lines such as: ‘I just want someone to throw a fucking Frisbee at me.’

The artists were interested in highlighting our relationship with technology; in particular, how social media channels have trained us to change our behaviour, language, aesthetics and idea of self to meet their optimisation standards.

‘We created social media,’ explains Trecartin. ‘But then it changed us because we interacted with it. Because it has its own rules and limitations it transforms us and transforms the next thing that happens just by existing. You can’t really avoid being trained.’

​The Big Picture

There is a growing awareness of Elastic Personas, where individuals stretch their identity like a rubber band, depending on whom the individual is interacting with. For more, see our macrotrend The Sharded Self.

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