“The Fifth Generation” looks into modern-day conspiracy theories linking 5G technology with the coronavirus pandemic, which resulted in the vandalism of at least 100 phone masts in Europe in 2020. Part of our online misinformation landscape, conspiracy theories have today entered the mainstream. Known to thrive in times of uncertainty and linked to extremism, their prevalence is a symbol of our so-called ‘post truth society’ characterised by a lack of agreement over the nature of truth.
Mirroring the rehash culture of conspiracy theories and the internet more broadly, the work employs montage and appropriation, combining found footage from the web, social media text exchanges and official reports with my own photography to interweave various perspectives – both true and untrue. Through this, the work seeks to explore the shifting boundaries between fact and fiction in an increasingly image- and information-saturated world.
All images ©Esther Gabrielle Kersley