403 FORBIDDEN

403 Forbidden Banner Image
EULA-5 Collective

About the Exhibit_

403 FORBIDDEN is a digital exhibition that explores the way identity and ownership are maintained and negotiated in digital spaces. At the apex of the Digital Revolution, we have become experts at building and curating our online identity which transcends our physical limitations. As we carefully navigate sensibilities of taste and content, form judgements, and learn from immaterial interactions with one another, we establish our critical consciousness. This agency is a right of passage. It draws us closer to our two-dimensional avatars and allows us to see beyond the scope of their purely representational function. They are us and we are them.

Participating artists Julia Makivic, Zhazha Zhang and Jenn Liv explore the connection between the digital and physical realms, considering notions of identity and presence. Through surreal game design, Julia Makivic showcases how people turn to social media as a tactic to reaffirm their identity with narrative and emphasizes themes of performativity, gender identity, displacement and vulnerability. Similarly, Zhazha Zhang invites the viewer to embark on a journey of discovery through immersion and fragmentation as she conceptualizes digital versions of her thoughts and memories. Building on this, Jenn Liv considers forms of hyperreality that stem from digital discourse, whereabout each visual replication of the real self becomes an entity of its own, a nod to Jean Baudrillard's theory of Simulacra and Simulation. 

In the space of blurred boundaries, we become cognizant of our intellectual property—our thoughts, our words, our feelings—which have been forfeited to “free” services through End-User License Agreements. The state of ownership is suddenly a battlefield and our digital presence is co-opted as a surveillance threat or as a means of profit gain. Instead of the promise of a democratic space for creativity and community-building, state and corporate intervention reveal themselves as having disproportionate power over what content gets distributed and socialized, and how.

Through artworks that are immersive and relatable, 403 FORBIDDEN seeks to answer questions of how we define ownership in a space where privacy is abstract and claim ownership of our likeness?

Join us as we rethink, reimagine, subvert, invert, and liberate ownership within digital realms and spaces.

 

Who We Are_

EULA-5 Collective is a group of enthusiastic graduate students at OCAD University (Toronto). We are living, working and creating in Toronto, Ottawa and Tehran.

Skeptical of digital ownership, we hope this exhibit helps to shed some light and inspire conversations on what we own and, importantly, what we forfeit in our online personas, identities and digital footprints. 

Artist Talks



Curatorial Podcast

Want to listen offline? Click here to listen to the Curator's Talk on your favourite platform!

Or, click here for detailed show notes and transcript.

Created By

Neo Nuo Chen | Co-curator, Branding, Graphics, Social media

Na'ama Freeman | Co-curator, Podcast Editing, Social media, Administration

Kalina Nedelcheva | Co-curator, Website development, Graphics, Podcast Editing

Razieh Pourfazli | Co-curator, Social Media, Artist relations

Candide Uyanze | Co-curator, Video Editing, Web support, Artist relations

Land Acknowledgement

Though our exhibition is virtual, it is tied to a collective that was formed for a master’s-level course at OCAD University.

We acknowledge the ancestral and traditional territories of the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Haudenosaunee, the Anishinaabe and the Huron-Wendat, who are the original owners and custodians of the land on which we inhabit and create.

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