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'Entertainment is Like Friendship' by Greatest Hits at Gertrude Contemporary, Melbourne

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‘it’s easy to cherry-pick data and come to whatever conclusion you desire’

The title of this exhibition, “Entertainment is like friendship”, is appropriated / adapted from Netflix’s public statement regarding their employee culture. Netflix is a streaming service that, in 2013, expanded into film and television production. Paying for a Netflix account and then using it has engendered a new way of consuming TV as entertainment. Rather than the fixed programming of free-to-air television, a Netflix user accesses tailored content. What’s more, Netflix employs sophisticated algorithms to deliver (apparently) personally relevant content and personalised visuals. In this way it creates a habit-forming feedback loop, both skewing and limiting images, perspective and experience. Considering this, what Netflix demonstrates / represents is a contemporary instance of power and control in a sublimated form.

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* According to them, what is special about Netflix is how much they:

1. Encourage independent decision-making by employees 2. Share information openly, broadly and deliberately 3. Are extraordinarily candid with each other 4. Keep only our highly effective people 5. Avoid rules


This is an exhibition full of referents – virtual, visual, material and theoretical, plus others.


What follows, lastly, could be described as notes (“a brief record of points or ideas written down”). I’m not exactly sure who authored what, or who asked whom what in what order for it be authored via the in-person and email discussions we shared (between March 2017 and March 2018). I have stolen and also redacted segments, and taken liberties (where I felt it was appropriate) in order to affect better communication. Read on.

This is a jack-o-lantern that was a visual aid in a Netflix show where a comedian tells the news.

This is the Netflix screen design interface of ‘House of Cards.’ House of Cards was one of the first major successes where they used data analytics to create a framework for the series. In October 2017, Spacey was accused of sexually assaulting actor Anthony Rapp when he was 14-years-old. [Story link: Netflix lost a staggering amount of money firing Kevin Spacey.] When the allegations came out, Spacey deflected the news by publicly coming out as gay. Since Rapp told his story, more than 30 individuals have made claims against Spacey for everything from sexual harassment to attempted rape. Upon news of the allegations, Spacey was essentially fired from House of Cards and recast in the film All The Money In The World.

So this is the opening page to Netflix, which allows you to create a custom profile in order to have accurate algorithm feedback for that particular individual. Better tracking effectively.

So this is an image of a painting of someone sleeping. The image is from the title of an article on the changing history of sleeping.

The images were of science fiction films where the youth are suppose to kill each other – good example is Battle Royale. I believe it was apart of a cannibalism feed that Lisa (Radford) knows about or runs on Instagram.

This is an image of a 19th century etching that describes an illusion project of a figure. The ghost-raising technique involved reflecting a hidden, brightly illuminated figure on a sheet of a plate glass set at an angle and invisible to the audience. These reflections could be superimposed upon an actor or an object, creating the illusion that both were in the same place.

This is a video as Tupac at Coachella in 2012. Fifteen years, seven weeks and three days after he was pronounced dead as a result of internal bleeding from five gunshot wounds he sustained in a Las Vegas drive-by, Tupac performed again. “What the f— is up, Coachellaaaaa!” A computer-generated Tupac made this proclamation to the crowd of 80,000. It raised his arms to roars before he began to perform his posthumous 1998 single “Hail Mary” and 1996 hit collaboration with Snoop, “2 Of Amerikaz Most Wanted.” On this night, the “Tupac Hologram,” what many still call the virtual being, was born.

This is a composite or overlay image of two things. The first is a chart that describes the increase of accuracy and the decrease of error that is forecasted with the implementation of A.I. It is suppose to contrast the human fallibility. The other image is of a cartoon of a figure that is making a phone call, with the word privacy seeping down the phone line. This image came from a ‘gofundme’ kind of thing where this guy was making a device that could create secure phone lines that couldn’t be traced, or recorded.

So the process could be described as a subtractive process, where by the image is made by taking away material from another material. In the past we have called the process UV degradation, but ‘sun bleaching’ or ‘UV fading’ is another way to help someone understand how its made. I often use the analogy of leaving the towel in the sun and the sun’s rays damage the surface colouring of the towel.

How we made the image is that we have 12 arc lights that have been taken from a warehouse. We have broken the glass casing around the light so that it exposes just the light filaments, which really intensifies the UV. Then we built a large wooden light box/room, to create good exposure. We then print an image onto a thin clear plastic, which is then stretched tight over a wooden frame. This is then placed over the top of the material that we are fading and in order to create a clear image, the plastic with the image on it must make contact with the material that is being faded. If it doesn’t it will blur. How it works is that the UV light penetrates the plastic and fades the material underneath. The ink (the image) blocks the UV light and causes the material underneath to fade / degrade at different rates – making a facsimile of the image on the plastic.

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1. [accessed 15 March 2018]. 
2. [accessed 14 March 2018]. 
3. [accessed 14 March 2018]. 4. [accessed 14 March 2018].


By Patrice Sharkey March 2018


15.3.18 — 21.4.18

Photo by Christo Crocker

Gertrude Contemporary

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