i love you


In the video installation ‘I Love You’, a handsome young man is positioned center frame, shirtless, facing the viewer on a white background. The frame is cropped closely around his head and shoulders. The man in the projection stares outwards, repeating the phrase “I Love You”. The camera cuts to another equally attractive young man staring ahead, again saying “I Love You, I Love You”. One after another men appear and express the same sentiment. A continous repetion. “I LOVE YOU, I LOVE YOU, I LOVE YOU”. The inflection and intonation change but the words remain the same.

‘I Love You’ might work as a modern-day affirmation app for the personal mobile devices we interact with more than with our loved ones. With face-to-face contact becoming increasingly rare, it could be argued that it is unnatural to hear someone say ‘I love you’ in person. The need to ‘hear’ or ‘feel love’ from a stranger is a further testament to the loneliness in our culture.

‘I Love You’, a necessary simulation fulfilling a desire to feel a personal connection to others in our hyper-connected, yet increasingly insular worlds. Emotions are messy. In this instance, there is no need to release ones ego, to expose oneself to possible pain, rejection or hurt. No need to meet or reciprocate here. This is a one-way, ‘Receiving Only’ application.

Inspired in part by Edward G. Robinson’s death scene in the 70’s sci-fi cult classic Soylent Green, in which his character’s last request is to view video imagery of flora and fauna, which no longer exist. Borrowing from the same idea, ‘I LOVE YOU’ is a record for the next generation of humans, simulating what should be natural, where the connection to something so completely natural has been cut.

To what extent is ‘being loved’ part of your life? Or important?
To what depth can we feel? Does saying “I love you” make it real?
Is it possible to fall in love, express and receive emotions electronically?
To what extent do we project love? Is Love real or programmed?

What brings severe discomfort for some, is expressed naturally by others. For many, the ability to express themselves emotionally is exceedingly difficult, as they are lacking the basic tools. Not only is it difficult, but next to impossible to express something deeply heartfelt. In most cultures, it is more acceptable for women to express words of affection, while men are looked at as ‘soft’ or ‘emotionally weak’.

Blaise’s work continues to explore with new media, humans most basic desires. In ‘I Love You’, Blaise fulfills the need to be connected to someone or something. Remarkably, some never hear the words ‘I Love You’ spoken to them. Here, Blaise offers a piece for the many who spend a lifetime searching for love or reciprocation. Digitized emotions will last forever. They will never fade, change or die.