Passive Aggression at TACO, London

Passive Aggression an experimental solo exhibition that considers and reflects on our lived experience as objects of capital. Passive Aggression explores the reverberations and merging of physical and virtual life. In particular, the way that patterns of online consumption have been combined with our physical lives, shaping our relationship to our working and living environments.

In 2017 Frost started making and uploading his video series – Wet Unboxing. In these videos, products selected from an optimised and urban life were opened by hand in a water-filled tank. These enigmatic and hypnotic videos of hands opening items underwater riffed on the online trend of YouTube unboxing videos, where products are opened and virtually consumed. Within this space of digital consumption, the Wet Unboxing videos acted-out the migration of physical desires in a life lived increasingly online.

Echoing the disembodied hands of the Wet Unboxing videos, in Passive Aggression animatronic hands respond to banal ‘data’ to act out repetitive actions and gestures.  Tweets, Instagram stories or Facebook posts made by commercial corporations are converted into a digital and robotic sign language. However this is not big data – loaded with gravity and direct meaning – instead the data ‘pulling the strings’ is banal, dumb and passive, seemingly at odds with the smart objects that underpin an ‘Internet of Things’.

Focusing at the point where a prosaic digital reality meets the physical, the works in Passive Aggression utilise and devise a privatised language and make it public.  

List of works
Passive Aggression 1 – 3, 2021
Cast silicone hands, servo motors, PVC tubing, braided fishing line, wood, Raspberry Pi Zero WH, SparkFun Servo pHAT, Adafruit Pio LED and 1A and 3A power supplies, plasters, first aid tape and modified dual monitor stand.

The movement of each finger corresponds to a signal – like/follow/following/posts made/views – pulled from commercial social media accounts (Graze, Red Bull, Lemsip, Nurishment, Belvita, Nivea, Chicago Town Pizza, Seven Seas).

Passive Aggression 4, 2021
Cast Silicone hand, bandage, children’s plasters, printed parcel tape, cardboard boxes and various tools.

Passive Aggression 5, 2021
Ipad covers and lanyards, cold cast resin tablet with iron filings (artificially rusted); Ipad with Wet Unboxing videos (Nivea Shaving Gel, frozen Chicago Town Pizza, Graze snack, Lemsip sachets, Seven Seas Cod Liver Oil, Red Bull, Belvita Biscuits, Nurishment chocolate drink) 2017-2021.