GOLDSMITHS  //  BA Design
2020



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Myths of Certainty

Jo Lockwood

Psychology
Uncertainty
Truth




Truth has lost its value. We’re inundated with so much information from so many different angles it’s hard to know where to look, how to keep track, who to believe. The exploitative nature of Capitalist culture takes advantage of our obedience, our uncertainty of the future, our desire for clarity.

The myth of certainty is a speculation generated from Capitalist ideas of perfect living, of seeking guidance and stability through societal systems as a way of making sense of our lives; and that as a result, certainty of the self does not exist. Instead, we are conditioned to believe and to trust the system as it plays on our desires, and it becomes increasingly difficult to distinguish the truth from the lies.
Our relationship with lying is delicate and complex. We lie as a form of expression, to hide, to protect, to resist. It comes naturally to many of us, especially when there is a certain degree of separation from the source of the lying and the recipient. In Modern society, it’s so easy to lie to people because they can’t always see our faces, our expressions, our motives. Does lying hide who we are? Or does it expose it?

My project investigates these concerns to help people come to grips with their personal and collective understanding of deception. I’ve designed provocative responses to societal and political preachings that prey on people’s ignorance and vulnerability to expose how deceptive behaviour manipulates, clouds judgement, creates societal conflict and affects our wellbeing and our interpersonal relationships.

I also take an intimate look into the personal behaviours that individuals exhibit when they themselves are not telling the truth, engaging them in experiments designed to expose the nature of their own deceptive behaviour, playfully observing the unique individual languages that develop through the act of lying.

Our realities are shaped and twisted by these different narratives. The myth of certainty consumes us, morphs us into a vessel for misinformation and lies. We're at an intersection in our society where people have the power to choose between what they believe is real and what is not. Truth is so amorphous and difficult to nail down. The key is knowing when we are being lied to or when we are being diverted from looking in a direction where we might learn something, that might give us leverage in the fight against those that seek to deceive us.