Causal Nexus: A Confession About my Self-Fulfilling Insomnia
Audio-Visual Installation exhibited as part of the residency programme at The Muse Gallery and Studio alongside two other emerging artists and residents.

Causal Nexus: A Confession About My Self-Fulfilling Insomnia (2024) is an audio-visual installation that explores an inner monologue of someone who is living chronically online. Taking influence from Japan’s archetype of the ‘Hikikomori’ - which is characterised by young adults who have become recluses in their parents' homes - Causal Nexus (2024) explores the habits and mental state of an insomniac and addicted online user.

The piece centres on a confessional which sets the scene of nostalgic, cyber-spatial devotion. The incorporated prints from both MMO games such as RuneScape, and online forums, act as a visual reference that invites the viewer into the “users” headspace. Within the piece, the audience hears a chorus compiled with archive audio from various online spaces - such as YouTube, podcasts, BBC archives, Twitch, Reels and film - whilst also sampling sound bites from MMO and video games. This sets the scene for the online world the user is living within; a nostalgia-ridden childhood bedroom where the user has become lost and encrypted themselves. The nostalgic references not only act as a reference to the artist’s childhood - through the low poly graphics of online games and its references to religion - but they are also a testament to the online spaces such as Reddit and instagram, where ‘nostalgia core’ is a prominent theme, often acting as a familiar retreat that we - as the consumers - return to for comfort.

Installation view of Causal Nexus (2024)

Images courtesy of William Brown and Romi Thornton


2024 - (June) Mialondonblog - Romi Thornton’s ‘Causal Nexus’ Explores the Blurring of Truth and Fiction in Online Spaces