Meta-darkness questions the accelerated and unrestrained path that the digital industry follows towards technological feudalism. Bringing social regression painted as progress, this is a path where wealth and power are overwhelmingly concentrated in the hands of a few autonomous tech lords, who advocate and worship opaque form of artificial intelligence, nurtured by our own digital serfdom and illiteracy.

This triptych of large-scale digital prints is presented in retro-illuminated Mupi boxes, coated with dark window tint, turning them into literal black boxes, and rendering the images visible only when they are lit from within.


Consent & Proceed, digital print (120x175cm), light box and dark window tint, 2022

Blessed by the algorithm, digital print (120x175cm), light box and dark window tint (120x175cm), 2022

Check this out. It’s a free show, digital print (120x175cm), light box and dark window tint (120x175cm), 2022


Between the promises of technologically optimized futures and a reality permeated by technological monopolies, digital illiteracy, and a growing concentration of wealth and power, we observe a dichotomy between prodigious advances and historical setbacks. In line with recent critical theories on neo- and techno-feudalism by Yanis Varoufakis, Shoshana Zuboff or Mariana Mazzucato (among others), which identify in the formats of current capitalism and the horizon towards which it is heading aspects of the economic and social models characteristic of the Middle Ages, we observe forms of regression such as models of digital feudalism, technological cults and increasingly rigid social hierarchies.

Meta-darkness, seeks to question this dichotomy, focusing on three alarming trends: the blind belief in algorithmic management and increasingly opaque models of artificial intelligence1; the growing dominance of technological corporations that, like the ancient feudal lords, autonomously effectively control and direct essential parts of the lives of large volumes of the population2; and the continuous proliferation of old and new forms of violence that move from the real to the virtual universe without safeguards for their victims3.

Forms of violence aggravated by the gratuitousness and entertainment character that promotes distancing in human relations in the digital environment, leading to vile acts, such as rape and serious harassment, to be even more relativized in the Metaverse.

1              Consent & Proceed: the false option of choosing whether or not to participate in the digital sphere, coupled with the ubiquity of digital contracts, absurdly long and complex but nonetheless consented with a simple click, has transformed the entire virtual territory into a patchwork of fortified domains where only those who freely give up their personal data and consent to the profitable monitoring of their online activity can enter.

2              Blessed by the algorithm: a comment allegedly expressed by a VFH driver, that marks the extent to which a growing number of professional and recreational activities are now delegated to algorithmic management models, under which the worker/user has no control or understanding regarding their selection processes.

3              Check this out. It’s a free show: Phrase uttered by an aggressor during one of the first cases of virtual rape in Facebook’s metaverse. Harassment, gender violence and bullying are factors that have permeated the internet since it was formed. The opening of “new” digital territories under the new technological branding of the “metaverse”, which did little or nothing to address these problems, generated more spaces where these forms of violence, accentuated by anonymity and grossly overlooked by their virtuality, can proliferate gratuitously, abusively and without consequences.




June 2022, Mupi GallerySaco Azul / Maus Hábitos, Oporto, PT