Maya Man
shift reality instantly ~ {very powerful}
February 2024

An interactive, generative meditation on the desire for escapism and the perceived supernatural powers of content on the internet. The piece is inspired by the culture of "subliminals," a genre of videos on YouTube and TikTok that promise to change your life, appearance, or even reality for the better. These videos have titles such as “𝙢𝙖𝙜𝙣𝙚𝙩𝙞𝙘 𝙖𝙪𝙧𝙖 ✰ 𝙚𝙭𝙩𝙧𝙚𝙢𝙚𝙡𝙮 𝙥𝙤𝙬𝙚𝙧𝙛𝙪𝙡 𝙨𝙪𝙗𝙡𝙞𝙢𝙞𝙣𝙖𝙡” and “.𖥔 ݁ ˖ glow up subliminal calm + overnight ˖ ݁ 𖥔. you will look unrecognizable after ONE listen.” Subliminals are especially popular with young women and teenage girls. They often include cute unicode characters in the video titles, an overt gesture toward the sparkly power that the video supposedly holds. shift reality instantly ~ {very powerful} is a playful work that, under the surface, examines the yearning to use the internet as a portal to discover a version of oneself that exists outside the bounds of the physical realm.

Visit the work online at

Credits: Released in October of 2022 on the occasion of the Tribute to Herbert W. Franke curated by Anika Meier & Susanne Päch.

Bio: Maya Man is an artist focused on contemporary identity culture on the internet. Her websites, generative series, and installations examine dominant narratives around femininity, authenticity, and the performance of self online. She is the creator of the browser extension Glance Back and the Art Blocks curated collection FAKE IT TILL YOU MAKE IT. She has exhibited internationally at bitforms, NYC; SOOT, Tokyo; Verse, London; Power Station of Art, Shanghai; and Feral File, online. Her work has been featured in Art in America, Forbes, Vogue, Zora Zine, Dirt, Various Artists, and more. Maya holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in Computer Science and Media Studies from Pomona College and an MFA in Media Art from UCLA.