Internet Friends Don’t Count

VISA 480 Theory Class Group Exhibitions

Opening Reception: Tuesday
November 24, 4-7pm
November 24-28, 2009
Hours: Wednesday-Saturday
noon-4pm
gallery located in room 112
Koerner Library
1958 Main Mall, UBC, Vancouver

The gallery located in room 112, Koerner Library presents the work of students from VISA 480 in a two-part exhibition. The class, split in two, proposes thematics to each other and formulates two group exhibitions. Running from Tuesday November 24 – Saturday November 28, Internet Friends Don’t Count is the first group’s response to the challenge. The mission is to create works of art that address the ephemeral nature of contemporary technology. With much of our social interaction happening on-line, what happens to our sense of immanent space? What role do artworks have in a world where information can be deleted with the click of a mouse?

In projects that span a variety of media, 13 artists come together to reflect on this ongoing phenomenon. Central are ideas that focus on communication, labour, subjectivity, and privacy. The diversity of approaches is indicative of the many facets of life that are affected by technology. This exhibition hopes to draw connections between those facets.

Below are a few statements by the artists in their attempts to circumscribe the topic in question:

“In the digital world there exists data that is real yet intangible, hovering over these boundaries the information itself is ephemeral and should not truly exist in material form. However, even if deleted, this information will have left inerasable traces of its existence in our world. “

“The modification of physical interaction has changed through the variable existence and experience of materials within a growing objectless, immaterial world.”

“The gaze permeates and transcends many levels of reality. Excess of physical materiality has brought us to excess of ephemeral materiality. To be both viewer and viewed, the inanimate takes on sight.  The fluctuation between real and not real, reality and illusion, social coherence and paranoia.”

“We lose the tangibility in this intimate and personal moment of writing our thoughts down with a pen and paper when the instantaneity of the virtual world has made itself more appealing…the process of returning to basics and materiality…perhaps from an initially functional act into one that becomes absurd and obsessive, in which case, how would it then differ from our obsession with the virtual world?”

“People of all ages, genders and nationalities have started following the trend of documenting their personal life in a public space. The invasion of privacy has been made easy…or, has the idea of privacy been lost in the online world? Voyeurism becomes an ambiguous activity.”

“Temporality and space are significant components in short message services; the time it takes for a message to send, and the virtual space that separates the two communicating individuals.”

“Exposure, labour, and the boundaries where the incorporeal and the material come together.”

“As explorations of personal proximity in relation to the Internet, your online friends are exercises in catharsis and social stigma.”