arebyte Gallery is pleased to present Blinding Pleasures, the first show launching its 2017 programme focusing on the theme of Control. The group exhibition Blinding Pleasures, curated by Filippo Lorenzin, will study the dangers and potentials of a conscious use of the mechanisms behind the False Consensus effect and its marketing-driven son, the so-called “Filter Bubble”.

This project will be an occasion to reflect and question these issues with the involvement of artists, psychologists, lawyers, sociologists and communication experts.

The mornings after both the Brexit vote and the 2016 U.S Presidential Election, social media was used more than ever for sharing sadness, fear and even desperation; people felt cheated, asking how it was possible that Brexit and Donald Trump won even though they saw on their social media feeds in the previous months that everyone was going to vote against them. The reality the social media channels perceived and the real and final outcome were too wide and deep.

Blinding Pleasures will explore the reasons and the ways in which the False Consensus effect takes place on a daily basis, online and offline, due to the construction of environments only allowing persons to connect with people who share a similar opinion. Not paying attention to signs that confound expectations is one of the most important and subtle functioning of human psyche; more often than not, it is an involuntary mechanism triggering out selfdefense.

Marketing agencies and centres of power learnt how to master this bias for their interests. Shaping a public opinion doesn’t necessarily mean to filter the information needed to control the extremely partisan communities blind to other opinions but rather, and foremost, to sharpen the differences among opposite groups giving birth to extreme partly blinded communities. Blinding Pleasures is an exhibition that reflects on how people can critically take control over their inner psychological biases, disrupting the attempts of being misled by those who detain power on the platforms they use.

Ultimately, the exhibition questions the means in which one retains control over these systems. Starting from a non social media related point of view, the exhibition explores the perks and troubles of behaving in an environment designed to keep people locked in it by exploiting their need to be socially accepted and reassured. Given the complexity of the topic, inquiry won’t be from a wholly negative or positive presumption; it’ll be an opportunity to start a conversation aimed to collectively address subtle and influential psychological functioning.