Dopamine Loop Holes: By Charlene Galea

10 - 24 June 2021

"I exist on Instagram since April 2012. 


What does it mean to slow down, log off for two months and not yearn to be back to the space where I communicated daily with so many individuals, collaborated and expressed myself in various ways? 


Most artists, like me, fear that their work would go unnoticed and unacknowledged unless displayed on social media. However, artists and curators do not realise that social media affects every piece of their work on put on Insta mood board. This is what I have been researching throughout my two months offline and as well my emotions free from habitual posting and scrolling. The algorithm is the control master which chooses who sees your work, no matter how intellectual, professional or original your artwork is. The algorithm is designed to favour selfies and saturated images with a ‘sell me’ hashtag. The algorithm punishes and rewards you with likes or no recognition unless it traps you into one of its Dopamine Loop Holes and finds you constantly online glued to the screen.


“By the time, Bye-bye time'

Had it not been for Instagram, you would not hear of me. An artist, too, is sensitive to the beeping sound of a like or comment, where time is constantly lost by tapping the notification button. This exhibition is a journal of myself as an artist who takes the role of a ‘Scrolling Instructor’ who confesses the over exhaustion of engaging with her audience for the sake of retaining them on the platform that is it all about taking chances through endless numerical values and emoji rewards.


Is it about time, the art world moves away from social media such as Instagram and thinks of a better plan to promote art?  Or perhaps artists have to find a way to save themselves on their own? The mixed media artwork is my train of thought composed of humor and anger, of sporadic words typed on a phone screen, of playing and singing alone. While my phone followed me everywhere during these two months, I was offline, meaning you could not watch me. Now, I’d like to share my feelings with you in a physical space, not digital space. Enjoy reading my spelling mistakes and hear me sing for the first time, because being in control of my own creative space is what matters most to me.

Charlene Galea is conceptual artist whose body often navigates between online identity and physical experiences. Concepts are mostly presented through performance, in which clothes act as a metaphor to narrate how the body is experienced within contemporary times.


'Dopamine Loop Holes ' is the  a result of her latest research depicting the effects social media has had both on her artistic and personal life. A few weeks back Charlene disconnected from all social media platforms in search of how this has manipulated our lives. The exhibition narrates her experience, thoughts and conclusions gained through this period through a performative and viusal context.