Tech has become an integral part of our lives in almost every way. It’s how we communicate, how we consume new media, and, through social media and photography, has become a platform for creative expression. The tech world has begun to merge with the world of art and has spurred innovation. So it’s about time an art show properly represented and explored this cultural intersection.
Last weekend, in a New York bar, met a girl through mutual friends. She’s in her mid-twenties, and her name’s Chloe Karayiannis. Like most first interactions we covered the small talk basics: “Where are you from?” “How do you know so-and-so?” and, ultimately, “What do you do?” I began to tell her about
Zip is a pop-up exhibition series which gives artists a chance to exhibit all sorts of works. This includes design, painting, digital, performance, augmented reality, and sculpture. The particular show I went to on Saturday, March 9th, was Zip III. The works were created by a group of multinational artists “exploring what it means to be human in the twenty-first century amidst an expanding world of technology.” Similar to the goals of
Saturday afternoon rolls around and I successfully managed to scrounge up two friends to come to check out the show with me. We had planned to go gallery hopping, so decided to show up a little early to Zip III. We were the first ones there and got a very personal look at the show. Three screens hung on one wall. Sculptures were placed around the main floor and the three remaining walls were adorned with canvases and prints. The concept of the show was expressed frankly and uniquely through each piece. All different mediums were used to convey the same general idea and each artist managed to stay on topic distinctively.
I was immediately drawn to the video screens, which in it of itself speaks a lot to the effects of tech on our generation. The first was a CGI video named Pull Pull. It begins with two humanoid silhouettes kissing in an embrace. It seemed to get more and more intricate and psychedelic the longer you affixed your gaze. The figures hairstyles and skin colors evolve and change and their bodies merge into mermaids and mystical looking creatures as the video progresses. The artist, Carol Civre, is a 3D and creative technology artist. This piece, in particular, was named after a Balinese mass kissing ceremony that celebrates fortune and prosperity. The animation takes the concept into a digital space where identity is irrelevant to an attraction. The video aspect of Pull Pull created a tangible and powerful storyline. It showcased passion and intimacy through impressive digital skills and tact.
The other pieces I was especially drawn to were three mixed media collages by the same artist, Erin Ko, from the collection
The artists that were brought together and curated thoughtfully by Allegra Maria Venturi and Chloe Karayiannis are all young enough to understand the obstacles we face as well as the opportunities we are given at the hands of technology and the internet. Every piece in the show, whether it was video, painting, mixed media, or sculpture represented a struggle or an advantage given to us by technology.
We read about the dangers of digital addiction, we read about the pros of advances in technology, we watch movies and play on our cellphones and use it all the time, but stepping back and viewing it through a different lens was eye opening. Art has always been about expressing oneself and more often than not is a representation of the circumstances the artist deals within their real life. When you think of it like that, it makes sense that young artists would be incorporating and exploring the impact of tech in their art. Although the Zip III show is closed, you can keep an eye on upcoming shows on their website or, in the spirit of this digital age, follow them on Instagram.
Written by Delfina Forstmann