InterAccess is excited to present Trivial Pursuits: Mass Distraction, the 9th Annual Emerging Artists Exhibition opening reception on Friday, July 10th, at 7pm. Please join us for oral fixation and hyperactive banter as the curator leads an informal discussion with the artists at 8pm.
Since 2001 InterAccess has organized an annual Emerging Artists' Exhibition to showcase new media artworks by post-secondary students and/or recent graduates. This initiative aims to offer young artists professional experience and exposure. This year the centre’s emerging curator, Jennifer Chan, brings together six Canadian artists who trivially navigate their quasi-virtual existences. Roja Aslani, Erin Gee, David Han, Beatriz Herrera, Steve Shaddick, and Blake Williams create an annoying, yet captivating, assemblage of new media art.
Trivial Pursuits presents the phenomena of digital distraction in new media art. As our attention becomes split-focused by e-mail checking, Facebook applications, instant-messaging, and blogging, our multi-tasking creates more and more data trash on the Internet. Appealing to the desire for maximal pleasure from overconsumption of media, this exhibition entices the viewer to watch, procrastinate, and play. Apparitional video projection, intermedia sculptures, and interactive installation encourage our engagement with irrelevance to resist capitalist productivity. Disjunctions between fiction and reality or functionality and redundancy posed by the artwork encourage the viewer to appreciate the absurd excesses of new technologies.
Shot between natural and urban landscapes of Toronto, Houston, and Reykjavik, Blake Williams’ Hotel Video projection portrays the dreamlike slippage between the interior and exterior. Beatriz Herrera’s robotic sculpture Trivia Monster blurts useless information in user presence. Meanwhile, Erin Gee’s Formants, a double-headed interactive sculpture, asks viewers to play. Combing the hair on each head triggers operatic feedback, invoking strangeness about gendered technological desires. Roja Aslani’s autonomous self-inflating Breathing Wardrobe and Steve Shaddick’s repeatedly crashing interactive video, Restart, withholds pre-visualization that interactive users are commonly accustomed to. An infinite regress of manipulated self-imagery, David Han’s Glass Looking Through is a site-specific installation posing as a dysfunctional interactive mirror. A viewer’s presence triggers audio-visual feedback that degenerates irrationally. Through indolent observation, Trivial Pursuits allows us to discover the perverse effects of new media art.