Voyage to the Virtual: Expanded Perception in Digital Art
Writing in 1970, Gene Youngblood advocated that artists take up the technologies of the moment—special effects, computer art, video art, multi-media environments, and holography—to expand the consciousness of their publics. The theorist claimed that artistic experience can change us into more aware and self-conscious human beings, and inform new ways of being in the world. Our question today is: How can contemporary aesthetics and artistic experience—enabled by the technologies of the moment—expand our consciousness and help us to change the fundamental concepts that organize our reality, like creativity, technology, sustainability, and collectivity?
Following the exhibition Voyage to the Virtual, this evening engages artists, curators, and critics in a conversation that takes up Youngblood's quest for the utilization of new technologies in aesthetic experience, and considers the relationship between expressions in contemporary artistic practice, expanded perception, and consciousness.
|6:30 pm||Introduction to Voyage to the Virtual | Tanya Toft, curator|
|6:40 pm||Artist Talk | Jette Gejl Kristensen & Peter Møller-Nielsen, Hyperkinetic Kayak|
|7:10 pm||Panel Conversation | Jette Gejl Kristensen, Pia Myrvold, Nicholas O’Brien, & Chris Woebken, with moderator Zachary Kaplan|
About the participants
Jette Gejl Kristensen has worked with 3D technology since 2001 when, in collaboration with computer scientist Peter Møller-Nielsen, she produced the film trilogy Stone, Grass, and Fabric, in which she experimented with the capability of virtual forms to move and physically impact the body of the viewer. She has since participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions, including Queens Canyon, The Artist Society Jutland, Arthall Aarhus, Denmark (2014); 15 m3, Den Frie, Denmark (2013); and The Garden of Natural Delights (after Bosch 1490), SxS, Aarhus, Denmark (2013).
Kristensen is an assistant professor at Aarhus University in the Department of Aesthetics and Communication and the producer of REARCHIVING THE NORDIC, an artist-driven project reexamining archived cultural data.
Norwegian-born, Paris- and New York-based artist Pia Myrvold made her debut as a painter in 1980 and soon after moved in an interdisciplinary direction as she began to incorporate new and unexplored media into her work. During the course of her career she has explored and simultaneously combined various media (painting, sound, video, design, infrastructure design, living art, urbanism, and new technologies) and has acted both as producer and curator for various international art exhibitions and events, including Norway’s Sola International Art Festival (1986).
Myrvold’s unconventional and overlapping research with visual media has introduced world to hybrid and innovative ideas including: cybercouture.com; clothes as publishing; multi-surface works; female interfaces and art projects involving dualities of virtual and real space; 3D animations; and mapping and multi-screen installations as immersive and interactive art environments.
Her work has been exhibited in museums and galleries throughout the world, including the Centre Pompidou (2005 and 2014), New York’s Center for Architecture (2006), DogA, the Norwegian Centre for Design and Architecture (2007), and the Rogaland Museum of Fine Arts (2008).
Her series The Metamorphoses of the Virtual was created as a vehicle to engage in large-scale, innovative installations on an international art scene, with a focus on bringing new media artists to the forefront of contemporary art destinations such as the Venice Biennale, where in 2013 it was named “Best Parallel Exhibition” by the Italian art press. The series’ second edition, The Metamorphoses of the Virtual 5 + 5, was held at the K11 Art Foundation in Shanghai.
In November 2014 Myrvold presented an immersive interactive exhibition at the Centre Pompidou: the last 20 years of her ideas and work with interface design, interaction, sensory systems, and 3D animation as sculpture and painting were merged as a multi-surface and gestalt artwork.
Today her work continues to focus on the exchanges between man, his emotions, programmation of space, and human interaction with new technology. Expressed in diverse media—digigraphics, painting, watercolor, installation, and video—Myrvold’s work reveals hidden congruencies of contemporary reality as it unfolds in the everyday.
Nicholas O’Brien is a net-based researcher and cultural producer. His visual work has internationally appeared in Mexico, Berlin, London, Dublin, Italy, as well as throughout the U.S. As a writer he has worked with, or been featured in, several publications including ARTINFO, Rhizome at The New Museum, Junk Jet, Sculpture Magazine, Dazed Digital, The Creators Project, DIS, Frieze d/e, San Francisco Art Quarterly, The Brooklyn Rail, and The New York Times. Currently he teaches as a visiting artist professor and works as the Gallery Director for the Department of Digital Art at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn.
Tanya Toft is a New York City- and Copenhagen-based curator, writer, and researcher on contemporary practices in (urban) digital art. She is Curatorial Advisor for Verve Cultural in São Paulo where she co-curated the second and third SP Urban Digital Festival at the Galeria de Arte Digital do SESI with Marilia Pasculli in 2013.
Toft has co-curated a number of exhibitions for the Streaming Museum and, in 2013 and 2014, curated the moving image exhibition and public program Nordic Outbreak, which traveled to New York City, Helsinki, Copenhagen, Reykjavík, Stavanger, Nuuk, and Umeå. Toft is also a frequent speaker on urban digital art and has been featured in the Huffington Post, Arterritory, and Interview Magazine, among other outlets.
Toft is a Ph.D. Fellow at the Institute of Arts and Cultural Studies at Copenhagen University and has been a visiting scholar at Columbia University, GSAPP, New York, and at Konstfack University of Arts, Crafts and Design, Stockholm. She holds a double M.A. in Media Studies from The New School and Modern Culture/Urbanity and Aesthetics from Copenhagen University, as well as a B.A. in Film and Media Studies from Copenhagen University.
Chris Woebken is a New York-based artist studying the culture and the history of thinking about futures. He has collaborated with scientists, organizations, and artists to propose new methods and tools for collaboratively prototyping, experiencing, and impacting future scenarios. With this work, Woebken is exploring the value of rapidly imagined, prototyped, deployed and evaluated visions of possible futures.
Woebken is co-founder of the Extrapolation Factory and also part of the DAMM (Dark Matter Manufacture Factory) collective. In 2013 he was an Eyebeam Resident and acted as an Eyebeam Honorary Resident in 2014.
About the moderator
Zachary Kaplan is Assistant Director of Rhizome, an art institution based on the internet and an affiliate in residence at The New Museum in New York.
See also Voyage to the Virtual in EXHIBITIONS section.
Tuesday, February 24, 6:30 pm
Drawing on a wealth of written, visual, and archaeological evidence, Yale University Professor Anders Winroth sheds new light on the complex society and culture of the legendary seafarers who were the Vikings in his recent book The Age of the Vikings (Princeton University Press, 2014).
The Vikings maintain their grip on our imaginations, but their image is too often distorted by medieval and modern myth. It is true that they pillaged, looted, and enslaved. But they also settled peacefully and developed a vast trading network. They traveled far from their homelands in swift and sturdy ships, not only to raid, but also to explore. Despite their fearsome reputation, the Vikings didn’t wear horned helmets and even the infamous berserkers were far from invincible.
Winroth not only explains the Viking attacks, but also looks at Viking endeavors in commerce, politics, discovery, and colonization, and reveals how Viking arts, literature, and religious thought evolved in ways unequaled in the rest of Europe. He shows how the Vikings seized on the boundless opportunities made possible by the invention of the longship, using it to venture to Europe for plunder, to open new trade routes, and to settle in lands as distant as Russia, Greenland, and the Byzantine Empire. Challenging the image of the Vikings that comes so easily to mind, Winroth argues that Viking chieftains were no more violent than men like Charlemagne, who committed atrocities on a far greater scale than the northern raiders.
By dismantling the myths, The Age of the Vikings allows the full story of this period in medieval history to be told. By exploring every major facet of this exciting age, Winroth captures the innovation and pure daring of the Vikings without glossing over their destructive heritage.
Copies of The Age of Vikings will also be available for purchase and signing following the program.
About the author
Anders Winroth (b. 1965, Ludvika) is the Forst Family Professor of History at Yale University. He specializes in the history of medieval Europe, especially religious, intellectual, and legal history as well as the Viking Age.
In 2003 Winroth was named a MacArthur Fellow by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, which honors individuals for the originality and creativity of their work and the potential to do more in the future.
He is also the author of The Making of Gratian’s Decretum (Cambridge University Press, 2001), The Conversion of Scandinavia: Vikings, Merchants, and Missionaries in the Remaking of Northern Europe (Yale University Press, 2012), and The Age of the Vikings (2014). His research is focused on the cultural, intellectual, and legal history of the European High Middle Ages and on the economic and social history of early medieval Scandinavia.
Winroth received his Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1996 and was the Sir James Knott Research Fellow at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne from 1996-98. He joined the Yale faculty as an assistant professor in 1998, was promoted to associate professor in 2003, and to full professor in 2004. He served as chair of the Medieval Studies Program 2005-07.