Filipe Vilas-Boas (PT)
(dot) gov (2017)
Sublimation on textile, dimensions 100 x 150 cm
Ethical drifts like Cambridge Analytica at least had the virtue of warning us: equipped with mass surveillance and influence tools, our digital regimes abuse their power and threaten our fundamental freedoms. In an increasingly computerized, interconnected and automated society, the quantitative and the logical emerge as dominant values. In The Rated Republic of China, like a “sousveillance” act, Filipe Vilas-Boas subtly modifies the Chinese flag and alludes to the star-based system of ranking and the radical Chinese system of assigning a social credit score. In United Likes of America, Vilas-Boas replaces the stars on the American flag with an icon similar to Facebook’s “like”. This graphic détournement makes reference to the power and omnipresence of the social network, which even affected the American elections in 2016 and, as a consequence, marked the history of the nation through the electoral triumph of Donald Trump.
Filipe Vilas-Boas (Portugal,1981) is a media artist living in Paris. Without being a naive tech utopist or a reluctant technophobe, he examines our use of technology and its ethical and aesthetical implications. His works were highlighted in the Portuguese Emerging Art Books, 2018 & 2019 edition and have been shown internationally notably at Nuit Blanche Paris, the UNESCO, Biennale Siana, Le Cube, Biennale Némo – Le 104 (FR), Ibrida, Share Festival (IT), ADAF, Monitor – Heraklion Contemporary Arts Festival (GR), Zaratan, MAAT Museum (PT) and at the Tate Modern (UK).