- Everybody Lies (On the Internet) was a live, networked performance commissioned by Igor Štromajer for Pixxelpoint 2014 media arts festival, which took place in Slovenia in December, 2014. Photos by Matej Vidmar, courtesy of Pixxelpoint and Nova Gorica City Gallery.
In the beginning the internet seemed to be an anonymous realm. A place where you could be anything and anyone, and the truth? Irrelevant. Chatroom users alternatively fell for and worried about imposters and fraudsters; email scams evolved into phishing; unbiased consumer reviews became contaminated with manufacturer-bought viral marketing; and dating sites and social media platforms offered new territory for the dishonest and manipulative to invent a new persona. Meanwhile, however, the internet is anything but anonymous as we are tracked, data mined, googled, cyberstalked and constantly analysed by algorithms. And yet the platitude remains: everyone lies on the internet - the assumption being that the 'anonymity' and corporeal dislocation of the medium inherently encourages it. The question is though, is it any easier to lie online than offline? How is networked communication (which forms an increasingly large portion of most people's total interpersonal contact) altered by this underlying conviction that the medium itself breeds dishonesty. In this performance, Gretta Louw will attempt to converse and interact via online video conferencing with the live audience in Nova Gorica, without letting a single truth escape. What is truth and what is fiction, how much can we really hide - or how much truth is visible despite the lies, how easy is a lie, how has today's internet environment morphed from it's 'anonymous' inception, and how important is belief or truth to an interpersonal connection?