James Burke

Everything and Nothing


Everything and Nothing, 2018
171.8 x 66.4 x 66.4cm, Compressor, Foil Balloon, Plinth, Computer Network

An exploration into the highs and lows of our relationship with social media. 
This interactive artwork questions the effects of our new-found addiction to the brief euphoria that we experience on a daily basis via online gratification. Has our sense of value and worth become intrinsically linked to other people’s validations in endless machine-driven feedback loops? Everything and Nothing explores themes of joy, reflection, suspense and fragility.  

This piece uses social media as a key component of the performance; a compressor sits on a plinth with an un-inflated balloon attached, within an exhibition space. An image of the piece is then posted on instagram at the start of the show. Each time it gets a ‘like’ on instagram, the compressor will add a puff of air to the balloon. The balloon becomes increasingly inflated and the viewer is able to see themselves in the shiny orange foil balloon reflection, until it receives too much air and bursts under the pressure. For the duration of the show the carcass of the balloon lies lifeless inside the case, as a reminder to all that whilst our addiction to social media may feel good, too much of it can destroy us.


Exhibited at Moniker Art Fair 2018