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Relationshop: A look closer at the gay online dating experience

The Internet has come along and changed the way we see and view our lives, interact with peers and how we shape our relationships. In a new series by Lukas Blasberg the artist looks at his personal and rather “hostile” journey when using dating apps like Tinder, Bumble, and Grindr and converts his interactions and conversations into real-life surreal products.

See Full series in our Bio and read more below. 


About Lukas Blasberg:

Lukas Blasberg creates media artworks, photos, installations and conceptual artworks. Blasberg often uses phenomena of the digital culture as a point of departure for his work. By using popular themes such as sexuality, consumerism, psychology, and violence his works directly respond to the surrounding environment and uses everyday experiences from the artist. Often these are framed instances that would go unnoticed in their original context. By parodying mass media by exaggerating certain formal aspects inherent to our contemporary society, Blasberg tries to approach a wide scale of subjects in a multi-layered way and likes to involve the viewer in a way that is sometimes even physical.


About Relationshop:

The internet has revolutionised the way we communicate. Millions of messages are exchanged at this very moment. As easy as it has become to talk to someone, it has become impersonal. We detach the human that is behind the icon from themselves. They become a thing. Dating apps like Tinder or Grindr fail on a grand scale due to this very reason. Online dating services promote a “relationshop” rather than relationship, leading to a society resting on the early pillars of alienation and isolation.

HI Lukas, Tell us a little about yourself and your upbringing?

I was actually born in Germany but I am currently living and working in London. I have always been interested in conceptual art and after studying at the University of the Arts London, I am now further exploring the art scene while aiming at discussing topical issues through my own work.

Your new series focused on the confusion around social dating apps the building of relationships, how did this come about?

After finding myself back on the dating market after the end of a relationship, I thought that the environment was incredibly hostile. I developed the idea to base my work on the “non-human” aspects of communication of online dating, in which I found myself to be segmented and materialised within categories such as my visual appearance (face, torso, chest, bum, and biceps) or even sexual preference (aggressive, submissive, etc.) Humans become products framed onto a screen, competing on a digital marketplace. Online dating is promoting a “relationshop” rather than a relationship.

Is contemporary dating something you find a minefield?

I think dating has always been a minefield. But I think that people tend to forget that there is an actual person behind the screen. They say and show things they wouldn’t dare to in person. Instead of love and affection users are often to experience loneliness and depression caused by the sparse and sterile social exchange within this services. Furthermore, online dating encourages people to deny each other human attributes causing a disturbing symmetry: People tend to give human qualities to objects and to treat each other as things.

Tell us a few things you have included in your ‘Relationshop’ and why?

I felt like a product or like I was dissected into the different things that people wanted from me. I created the shop with the products people were interested in. You can get exactly what you are looking for. Its the 8 most requested things people wanted from me – face, abs, ass etc

Is there anything you now wish you included?

Yes! Underwear! Worn underwear is highly requested but I may open up a side business with it if the art thing is not working out.  So stay tuned.

Where can readers find you and buy your work?

You can find me on Instagram and you can buy original works and signed prints via my website, + A proper shop is obviously on its way.


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