Love in the Internet Age
What does it mean to love in the Internet age? How are digital interfaces reshaping our personal relationships? What do new technologies imply for the future of the romantic sphere? How do screens affect our sexual intimacy? Are the new means of connection shifting the old paradigms of adult life?
By bringing together the work of several international artists, the exhibition Data Dating attempts to explore new directions in modern romance: new forms of intimate communication, the process of commodification of love through online dating services and hookup applications, unprecedented meeting and mating behaviors, the renegotiation of sexual identities, and changing erotic mores and taboos.
According to a recent study, 1 couple on 5 has met through a dating website: the massive scale of this phenomenon is evidence enough of its potential for profit and an extensive collection of user data.
Dating websites and hookup applications will be the most rentable business in the future of the Internet. Today they are ranking third among paid content sites online, outpacing even pornography. This aspect raises questions about the planned obsolescence that is supposedly inherent in this business model: the idea that online dating companies, having a latent interest in matches failing, acknowledge the search for partners as a recreational activity and product to be endless consumed.
As Eva Illouz has stated in Consuming the Romantic Utopia, “romantic love is a collective arena within which the social divisions and the cultural contradictions of capitalism are played out”.
Data Dating aims to promote debate on the ways in which society is responding to one of the greatest challenges of today: mapping the new connections between emotion, desire, culture, technology, and economy by considering Internet as a social practice, a shift of society at large.
Jeroen van Loon
Watermans London, 2020
ZKM Karlsruhe, 2019
Galerie Charlot Paris, 2018
Galerie Charlot Tel Aviv, 2018