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  • Writer's pictureBabak Ahteshamipour

I Sometimes Cover my Eyes and think of the Occasions where We Drop our Smiles

Updated: Sep 26, 2023

I Sometimes Cover my eyes (since I can’t control them in order to shut them) and dream the Occasions where We drop our Smiles (since I haven’t been getting that lately, it’s as if we’ve accepted believing fate, UFOs, time-travel and stuff) is an anti-materialist and anti-consumerist manifesto video.

Through a process of collecting various digital objects over the internet as I was rummaging for leftover second-hand material objects in trashes IRL (in real life) I created 3D scenes in which retro laser guns make these commodities explode.

The scenes alternate between RL footages and digital scenes which feature drawings of various non-human NPCs / characters which have been subverted into commodified entities within virtual gaming worlds and cyberspace.

The title of the video is based on how marketing and branding agents present and promote entities, immaterial concepts and objects, as rebranded sugary conscious statements, subjugating and alienating their actual states of existence into becoming something more than themselves, a product, an icon, a simulacra, as part of a consumerist system.

Throughout gaming culture there have been many who have resisted oppressive representations within games and have engaged in virtual activism to address these kind of RL issues. Unfortunately these kind of acts would then be turned into commodified features in games by corporations such as easter eggs, creating in game microtransactions so that the games are free and there's no more need for pirated games, introducing gender fluid characters and presenting oppressed groups as playable characters.

This act of commodified virtual resistance is reminiscent of the same commodifications that happen by hyper-accumulating corporations such as greenwashing and pinkwashing. Other examples are plastic representations of minorities in pop culture such as in cinema and pseudo-promoted feminism within the spectacle as rebranding, while behind the curtains the people in power and charge remain the same, serving the same agendas and having the same previous interests: profit, extraction and exploitation no matter the costs.

As an extension, living in a fast paced era of spammable acidic online information and face-slapping curated suggestions on what to read, watch and believe, capitalism realism leaves tiny to no room for alternatives, subversively hijacking and rendering any kind of a form of resistance or existence into its own machinist jaws, by branding and commodifying them.



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