Ambar Navarro’s ‘iCare’ project looks at loneliness in the digital age
Have you been dumped? Are you heartbroken, lonely or lost? Are you lying on the floor, crying? Right now? Well, help may be at hand for you – and in a very literal sense. “I was feeling really down about my current breakup,” remembers Ambar Navarro. “And since none of my friends stay up so late, I decided to try out the Apple chatrooms for support. (The specialist and I) ended up chatting for an hour. I stopped crying and went back to bed after that. She really made me feel better.”
The artist's latest project, “iCare”, is filled with moments as strange and unexpected as this. Exploring how loneliness is dealt with in the digital age, her animated portraits are packed full of genuine 4am conversations with faceless “Apple specialists” – some more intimate than others. Where one will shell out advice, another will recommend an anthem for heartbreak. Others, though, will just be searching for somebody to talk to.
“The internet brings out different sides of people”, Navarro explains. “Sometimes if I can't go to sleep or feel lonely I ask Siri questions to see how she'll answer them.” While this may sound a bit odd, recent research reveals that 40% of us believe we could actually fall in love with our virtual assistants – so it's probably closer to reality than you'd like to think.
“I hope in the future all smart phones come with some sort of therapy assistance,” Navarro adds. “There are products for everything – it's only a matter of time till they come out with an "iCare" or "Apple Care S" app.”
You can check out the rest of Ambar's “iCare” project here.