In a world of screens and notifications, there is an increasing frustration with the monotony of the endless feeds, repetitive recommendations generated by algorithms and the phenomenon of homogenized content all over the internet. People are bored, meanwhile we are glued to our screens, walking around completely checked out, compulsively checking our phones. Addiction intertwines with boredom: is the drug still strong enough now?   

The artist Cadie Desbiens-Desmeules is interested in this idea that the devices we use to escape boredom, our smartphones, have become the source of our ennui. She wants to explore the paradox that, as we scroll through our feeds, our minds can be clutched by a strong feeling of emptiness. TRANSPARENT TRAPS is a conceptual mixed reality project, where each sculpture holds a unique message, a humorous commentary on the tech-crazed world. 

Desbiens-Desmeules is asking us to take a closer look at the very things that we stare at everyday, which we hold in our hands, and which have become integral, physical extensions of ourselves. The smartphone is used as the main subject in this project. The phones are windows into the messages which have become so ubiquitous, so repetitive, that we don’t pay attention anymore. Yet these messages become rather absurd when taken out of their context. 

The artist is exploring this phenomenon of constant exposure to digital stimuli creating a sense of “dissociation” from the physical world, a sort of “digital overload”. We’re so trapped in the cycle of screen addiction now, that the outside world feels secondary. The boredom state of mind extends to the real world. Reality doesn’t hit the dopamine receptors enough anymore, so we go back online to find ourselves again, disappointed.


TRANSPARENT TRAPS is a mixed reality project that includes different installations, both physical and virtual using AR technology.

Authentic menus and Buttons from online platforms:

Apple Music: “The request timed out.”
Instagram: “5349 others”
Twitter: “Your birth date can only be changed a few times”
Youtube: “Watch later”
iMessage:“I’m sorry we had a fight”
Pornhub:“Most relevant”
Netflix: “Error Code F7037-1101”
Quora: “Interested in Boredom?”

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