The Browse (2023)

video installation, film projection, shopping carts, 4-channel sound
duration: 10m 40s

Actors: Alo Suursaar, Carmen Kalata, Egle Ehtjen, Erko Ever, Hanna-Liisa Lavonen, Ian Simon Märjama, Janno Lepind, Kelli Gedvil, Madli Kadakas, Markus Tiitus, Mart Joost, Martin Loik, Mirjam Proos, Sven Sosnitski, Tiina Vändre

Production assistant: Egle Ehtjen
Colour correction assist, camera assist, set photographer: Erko Ever

This work is part of the Absentia Trilogy including 3 video installations: The Wait, The Stream and The Browse

Text written by Kristel Saan in dialogue with the exhibiton 'It will take approximately 25 minutes to experience this exhibition, we apologize for any inconvenience' at the Hobusepea Gallery, Tallinn:

How much of our valuable time do we unconsciously give for nothing, without receiving anything in return.. Like drifting obliviously, without noticing the surroundings and those around us. The desire to belong is fundamentally a basic human need. Studies suggest that the craving for social interactions arise from the same region of the brain where our need for food is felt, and when we are excluded, the experience is processed in the same brain region responsible for the sensation of physical pain.. And then we activate. Like toys with new batteries. Panic-induced false belonging sets in, and smart devices play a significant role in fulfilling the basic need for connection. The somewhat unsettling sense of non-belonging paves the way for digital non-spaces and fantastic, theatrical realms within it.

Humans have the essential need to observe and be observed.. To be seen, heard and considered by others. It is safe to move in packs, each one still lonely, eyes staring to the non-world.. because the possibility for non-world is always present; it is nowhere and belongs to no one.. There is no accountability, neither for actions nor for consequences, I do not participate, I am just an observer.. Slightly calming, somewhat entertaining, but excellent for passing the time.

Our desire to belong pushes us to action, but it cannot happen without sacrifice. Am I willing though.. These are my experiences, my belongings, my people, my thoughts and feelings.. What if the new ones are not coming.. Will I remain stranded here, idle and free-falling in the middle world.. And so we turn, cautiously testing our trust, and walking into the future.. We sort of slowly begin to move, and then we circle back to a core familiar to us.. There is a sense of security when we know that we are for a fact present in a specific place, at least physically. "I'll wear a reflective vest as well – so if I happen to wander too far, would you mind calling me back, okay?" If someone generous in real life would put these dots down for us, there would be a clear objective and it would be easy.. no need to think much ourselves. And so it often is, that we let our lives be curated by someone else’s dots.. thinking that these are our own choices.


Hobusepea Gallery, Tallinn