Installation view.

“placelessness in parallel” (2019) digital video, 10:00 duration.

“Artworks designed on fighter-jet software are e-mailed to pop up in bank lobbies” (2019) acrylic, dimensions variable.

Installation view.
“Mr. Sub” (2019) neon, acrylic, dimensions variable.

“An Infinite Loop” (2019) vinyl, digital video, 2:43 duration.


Oct 05 — 27

“An Infinite Loop in the Virtual Plaza” maps the parallels between supposedly innocuous public architecture and “user-friendly” digital interfaces. The architecture of malls, plazas, airports and lobbies serve the same placeless function as social media interfaces; they provide a supposedly “neutral” experience to foreground audience or user content: both reaffirming western colonial notions of “universality” while perpetuating neoliberal capitalism and apathetic, a-political subjects. Glossy, white aesthetics maintain an illusion of purity and give users a sense of agency, while creating a landscape for power to be easily internalized and rearticulated by individual bodies, facilitating free labour through surveillance and demographic tracking. Centered around an essayistic video work that investigates these “invisible” numbing infrastructures and the capitalist logic that underpins their aesthetics, this body of work attempts to unpack the implications of these tools, that ease extraction through military-grade psychological conditioning.

Sophia Oppel is an interdisciplinary artist and researcher interested in examining digital interfaces and physical architectures as parallel sites of power. Oppel deploys glass, mirror and the screen as a framework to consider the paradoxes of legibility under surveillance capitalism. Currently, Oppel is interested in addressing both the complicity with, and refusal of, biometric capture on a bodily scale. Oppel received a Masters of Visual Studies from the University of Toronto in 2021.

Journal FYI