Rachel Ferber


Jokes on Every Wrapper, 2020-2021
Vertical format HD video
10:18 duration

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Jokes on Every Wrapper takes the viewer through a digital rabbit hole of out-of-order processes and vaguely connected objects, spaces and occurrences. The video is sparsely narrated by closed captions written in the style of stand-up comedy—directly addressing the audience in first-person—and is punctuated by a soundtrack that moves between the droning sounds of industrial white noise, zen-inspired stock music, and exaggerated, sometimes cartoonish, sound effects. Situated within an interior domestic setting, bizarre acts of home-making and odd everyday events are reflected, ‘shopped and smashed together. These clips are interrupted by behind-the-scenes views into the DIY-construction of these images; the home as media studio. It is both banal and sinister. Even the most benign materials—butter, throw pillows, beige sharpies—feel potentially dangerous. Butter is both the glue that binds the homemade cookie to the capitalist system, and a means of making a mess of the status quo. This covert domestic rebellion is tempered by the fact that most everything utilized remains connected to a larger system, whether electrically, socially, or through supply chains. These scenes suggest that while absurd and convoluted DIY solutions might be a path toward autonomy, there is still the question of who is in control. Equal parts home-made and ready-made, this cacophony of media and material leaves us to wonder, Are we the butt of the joke?