Slow Spectre is composed of a 3D animation short and outdoor billboards in various locations around London. The piece is inspired by a discursive road trip in a remote area of Europe. Away from the primary highroads and large chain petrol stations, an absurd bird-shaped mannequin is accidentally encountered at a humble café on a country roadside. The mannequin endlessly waves at the passing vehicles without receiving a response. In the animation, the character appears as an invisible ghost who levitates in the middle of the road. It witnesses its surroundings while constantly being neglected. Its sedate sense of time is in contrast to the constant acceleration of the passengers below.
By recontextualising the character in its solitude, the piece disrupts and slows down the pace of the rapid life of passersby with an uncanny presence. On the outdoor billboards, QR codes are printed together with animation stills, making the passersby stop, scan, and view the animation in the online exhibition. The project questions the anthropocentric postulation of advanced capitalism and investigates the notion of “fulfilment” in a society of accelerationism. While the accelerationist prediction of emancipation has yet to be realised, this character intends to fulfil an outlook of “newness” by the gestures of “deceleration” and “disruption.”
At Fulfilment Services Ltd. we begin at the logistics of the systemised supply chain: algorithm to ‘click to buy’ to factory worker to shipping container to gig delivery driver to momentarily satisfied and fulfilled consumer; from there we link, de-link, and re-link. With Gasworks as the nexus of a series of public interventions, we invite international artists Arvid&Marie, DNA, Florence Jung, and Frank Wang Yefeng to respond to the contemporary provocation of an anti-fulfilment narrative.
Under existing infrastructures of production and consumption, networks are constantly in multi-directional movement building new needs once existing ones have been satisfied. In an ever-expanding and dissatisfying system we ask crucially: is capitalism fulfilling consumers or are consumers fulfilling capitalism?
The four new artist commissions situate themselves in and around London on billboards, delivery vehicles and digitally on an e-commerce platform and website. These works come together under the unified spirit of corroding existing networks of dissemination. At Fulfilment Services Ltd. our disseminated medium is very much part of our message: join us in imagining alternative realities of fulfilment by interrogating the chain of production, networks of transportation, and the extortionist quality of fabricated needs.
Fulfilment Services Ltd. is curated by Andreanne Beguin, Zidong Chen, Sarah Daher, Zifei Ge, Hayley Gibson, Jiawei Gu and Brenna Horrox from the MA Curating Contemporary Art Programme as part of the Graduate Projects 2021, Royal College of Art in partnership with Gasworks, supported by Jack Arts and Print&Digital.