This Friday will mark the second Chatrooms event!
For this installation of the series, Morehshin and I are guest-curating Gray Area’s Creative Code Meetup. The evening will feature artist talks by four terrific contemporary new media artists, as well as the United States debut of GIFbites, a group exhibition including over 50 international artists.
For the theme of the evening, we’ve chosen to focus on artists who are using online spaces, social media, and shareable imagery to critique, subvert, and expand the possibilities of the digital realm. This theme follows in the footsteps of a number of projects I’ve previously worked on, and is especially in line with the salon I hosted with NewHive a year or so ago, which focused on harnessing the Creative Advantage of the Internet. Similarly, the artists we’ve chosen to feature in Chatrooms II use networked technologies and new media to create compelling experiences that often challenge existing assumptions about how we use the Internet, and offer new narratives about how we might approach our digital selves.
First up, LaTurbo Avedon will present a brief talk about her life as a digital person. LaTurbo is unique in that she has no IRL self – her existence is completely tied to the tubes, wires, and beams of light that make up the Internet. In her work, she explores ideas of virtual authorship, digital space, and the way we can build up our selves through the creation of social media profiles, avatars, and beyond.
Next up, Laura Hyunjhee Kim will present her work, which includes video and performance art that seems to be both a parody of the Internet, as well as a love letter to the Internet. In my favorite video of hers, Sharing is Caring, she sings the song of the social media age – Look how many likes I got, look how many hearts I have! I swear, this song gets stuck in my head every time I find myself caring about how many “engagements” one of my posts gets on social media. She is an all-around superstar.
Third, new media artist and fellow Gray Area Cultural Incubator member Tim Roseborough will give a talk. Roseborough’s work is informed by “screen culture:” film, television, virtual reality and video games. Interestingly, he subverts these “screens” with ambiguity, asking the viewer to take a critical approach to these consumer-oriented technologies. Tim aligns himself with the “Bay Area Digitalist” movement, a loose collective of artists and designers who are influenced by the technology and information culture that flourishes in the Northern California region.
Finally, Angela Washko is joining us all the way from San Diego! One of my favorite components of Angela’s work includes feminist performance art that takes place in World of Warcraft. Angela was also the first person to ever sell a Vine video to a collector (which I just learned via her Wikipedia page). It was called “Tits on Tits on Ikea,” which is simply the greatest title for a Vine ever.
And and and! We’re anticipating that Daniel Rourke, the curator of the GIFbites exhibition which originally debuted in Iran, will be sending us curator remarks via video. Friday will be a jam-packed evening, so please do join us!