Turkish artist Burak Arikan combined official promotional videos from dozens of countries into a network-driven deconstruction of the tourism industry.
An impossibly beautiful couple strolls down an impossibly sunny beach, smiling impossibly broad grins as they gaze out on an impossibly blue ocean.
Cut to a kayaker, paddling on a serene river. So. Very. Serene.
Cut to a rainforest. A man jumps from a waterfall. Cut to the weathered face of a wise native. Drumbeats. Cut.
The language of tourism videos is familiar to anyone who has every waited in an airport lounge. You may have noticed how similar these advertisements are to one another—but are they really all the same? In Monovacation, Burak Arikan combines network analysis and film editing to produce an endless loop of vacations, a melange of clichés that offers a peek into the message-making behind the tourism industry.
Monovacation is at the same time a statistical analysis, a film and a gallery installation. This is typical of Arikan’s work, which focuses on the possibilities of network science, both as a contemporary art medium and as a tool to reveal hidden systems of power and influence. Previously he has used a network-based approach to examine a variety of diverse topics, including Istanbul’s art collectors, neo-liberalism in the UAE and even items in his own pocket.
You can follow Burak on Twitter: @arikan