The LSU School of Art is pleased to announce social(dis)order at the Glassell Gallery at the Shaw Center of the Arts. The show will be open August 30-October 7. A reception will be held Friday, September 21, 6-8pm.
Social(dis)order is an exhibition that brings together recent and historical works that explore the power technology-enabled social networks have over traditional social constructs. Curated by Margot Herster and Derick Ostrenko, faculty in the Digital Art Area and AVATAR initiative at Louisiana State University, the exhibition is the season opening exhibition for the LSU School of Art’s 2012-2013 programming, Tipping the Edge.
Social(dis)order will transform the gallery into a media-rich exploratory social space and invite visitors to participate. The current state of digital media provides rapidly diversifying public platforms where social expression is used as a device for authority and influence. The artists represented in the exhibition engage visitors to explore the balances and imbalances, freedoms and controls, and comforts and discomforts that accompany social change.
The exhibition features seven interactive and participatory works by international artists whose creative practice explores the underlying motivations of the ubiquitous networks that keep people connected. In a video projection from her series Testament, Natalie Bookchin contemplates the intimacy and anonymity of mass communication enabled by websites like Youtube in which she which assembles a chorus of medicated video bloggers. Take This Lollipop by Jason Zada flirts with the danger of online exploitation in this facebook app-generated horror movie.
Two works in the exhibition activate discussion about the political implications of video games and their power for social impact. Games made by the Italian team Molleindustria are available to test your abilities against corrupt politicians, conspiracies, and drone pilots free from the “dictatorship of entertainment.” Another serious game with very practical intentions, Virtual Peace enables visitors to try their hands at a video game created by a collaborative team from Duke University, the Duke-UNC Rotary Center for International Studies in Peace and Conflict Resolution and the learning environment company Virtual Heroes for the purpose of humanitarian aid training.
Created in 1999 and the earliest work in the exhibition, Joseph DeLappe’s Self-Portrait/A Dialogue, offers comic relief to the darker undertones of many of the works exhibited, as two vintage computer mice interact with each other through the medium of vintage knock-knock humor. Another interactive sculpture by Jonah Brucker-Cohen is more foreboding. Brucker-Cohen’s Alerting Infrastructure! is a drill that will translate hits to the Glassell Gallery website into physical damage by burrowing into one of the gallery’s cement walls, amplifying the concern that physical spaces are losing ground to their virtual counterparts.
Alongside the computer-enabled works, London-based artists Ant Hampton and Britt Hatzius present a participatory installation that sets up an analog relationship between recorded media and live human bodies. In this This is Not My Voice Speaking the artists provide devices and instructions for visitors to enact a playful multimedia performance using classic such as 16mm film, a record player and a slide projector.