Mixed media artist Miss Bugs recently unveiled a new installation, entitled Do No Harm at Jealous Gallery in London’s Shoreditch. The installation consisted of 900 vibrant, colored resin ‘popsicles’, that in containing a range of pharmaceuticals, critiqued contemporary society’s obsession and consumption of social media.
Miss Bugs continues to draw on the theme of addiction to digital technology, and how over exposure to news reels and digital feeds can act as an anesthetic and numb the sense of reality. Social media algorithms mean one becomes stuck in their own ‘echo chamber’, and can only gain access to content that has been externally chosen to be suitable for them.
This dark notion is ‘sugar coated’ in the aesthetics of the popsicles. Each piece is made up of three layers of different colored resin, in which a mix of surgical blades, Viagra, syringes and various painkillers are contained. In the gallery the Pop Art style pieces were presented on mass in pharmaceutical orderliness. They were sold in medical packaging, with instructions for application, how to store and a warning of the side effects.
“The ice lollies represent the churn of the social network; the posed selfies, the frothy coffee top photos and the cute animal videos side of the internet that we all like to binge on, but inside it’s rotten and sick. Digital technology whilst being a sweetener in our lives perpetually distracts us with a constant, addictive stream of information and temptation,” said Miss Bugs.
The installation’s title Do No Harm was pulled from the Hippocratic Oath, whereby doctors promise to abstain from any intentional wrongdoing in dealing with their patients. The irony of the statement is evident in today’s networks and social dialogue where we continuously self-harm and cause harm to others, in an endless loop. Intriguing and on point, Do No Harm is a timely reminder of our addiction.