In SHINY APPETITES Anne Spalter illuminates the convoluted relationship between value perception, environmental stewardship, and digital materialism that punctuates our contemporary existence.
Drawing inspiration from natural curiosity and innocence, the fox, a creature often associated with cunning, is presented as the unexpected miner, toiling ceaselessly in pursuit of diamonds and colorful candies—visual metaphors that represent the natural resources we relentlessly extract and the virtual commodities we paradoxically attribute value to. The diamonds denote our obsession with rare earth minerals and their link to climate change; their glint is a stark reminder of the environmental costs involved in their acquisition.
Juxtaposed against these are the candies, playful symbols of virtual entities like NFTs, and the popular video game CANDY CRUSH, offering commentary on our increasing immersion in the digital landscape. They question the value we place on these virtual commodities, sometimes surpassing those of the real, physical world, and raise concerns around crypto-induced energy consumption. This creates a parallel between the physical and digital realms, both exerting significant pressure on our environment.
With the diamonds and candies being pursued by the same entity, Spalter aims to provoke a contemplation of our skewed value systems. The foxes are us—consumed by our desires for both tangible and intangible riches and oblivious to the sustainability paradox we are creating.
SHINY APPETITES is, thus, an invitation to the viewer. It invites introspection on the environmental implications of our insatiable hunger for commodities—both real and digital—and a collective reevaluation of what we value in hopes of fostering a more sustainable future.