Mateusz Kokot. Hidden in plain sight

In one of the alternative realities, heliocentrism is a lie. The Earth is a flat disc, covered with a dome, with the Sun and the Moon orbiting under it. Instead of gravity, the planet's surface is affected by electromagnetism or, like in a lift, by the illusion of attraction caused by a uniformly accelerated upward movement.

The disc is surrounded by Antarctica, which forms its ice boundary, topped by a wall that prevents falling off the planet. This area is guarded by United Nations troops to restrict access to the outer rim and hide the true shape of the world. Conspiracy permeates the entire system, and the system has many agents: Illuminati, Disney, NASA, CIA, ONZ etc.

The flat Earth theory, steeped in Christian fundamentalism, aims at restoring the ontological anthropocentrism with man in the centre of the Universe as the most perfect creation and the ultimate goal of all phenomena. Sharing the secret and going through subsequent circles of initiation lead to the emergence of a quasi-religious community within which the propagated interpretations are accepted as definite truths if not revelations. The followers reject all arguments and evidence to the contrary, treating them as fabricated, usually with the use of CGI (computer generated images). They also abandon rationality based on logical reasoning for colloquial thinking and unconscious cognitive errors. The vision created on the basis of the theories takes a form of a super-conspiracy, which grows newer and newer threads, disseminated by internet users. This results in artificial social divisions: promoters of truth vs. slaves to manipulation, scientific illiterates vs. objective rationalists, critics of ideology vs. conspiracy theorists.

Mateusz Kokot observes these phenomena in his new project Hidden in plain sight. Free from prejudices, he initiates a dialogue with a flat-earther in order to subject himself to the conspiracy indoctrination. Initially fascinating constructs of thought quickly turn into distortions and different worldviews prevent further communication. From the rhizome of information gathered during the conversations, the artist generates procedural planes using digital technologies. The resulting image is further processed to make the message more credible. What emerges is modified and computer-generated modular topography of flat-Earth thoughts and beliefs. The conceptual, jittery landscape places us in an area of more universal, ideological disagreement, where accusations, post-truth and trolling replace informed discussion. Everybody lives in their own bubble so that opposing values can never confront.


Mateusz Kokot (1992) graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts in Katowice; diploma with honours at the studio of professor Andrzej Tobis. He is currently a doctoral student at his alma mater. He operates in the area of crypto-science, naive futurism and sci-fi pop culture. The themes of his works include alternative forms of religiosity (post-religiosity), the transfer of consciousness into virtual space and technological extensions of the body. Major awards: The Award of the Rector of the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow, Grand Prix of Young Polish Graphics (2015), Scholarship of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage (2017), Award of BPSC, sponsor of young art, for the best diploma in painting (2018). His works have been presented at the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, the BWA Gallery in Wrocław, the Rondo Sztuki Gallery in Katowice, the Tarnowskie Góry Cultural Centre and others.

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