Press Release

voidAwake ( ){ collects the capstone projects of Baruch’s 2018 New Media Art minor students into an exhibition that questions humanity, agency, and perception in an ever-evolving, technological world. The opening reception will be on December 10 from 1:30 to 3:30 PM to premiere the works created and curated by Alibek Amanturlin, James Birken, Fatima Daniel, Nadine Mamane, Jiayu Zhu, José Daniel Benitez, Amy Li, Mikiann McIntosh, Alex Pitre, Yukie Wong, Goeun Yoon, Busayo Adesanya, Daphnelly Delacruz, Saba Golmohammad, Daniel Krall, Erica Wong, Meredith Cha, Matthaeus Choo Tung, Nicole Sack, Sydney Stewart, and Hannah Tran.

The main title, voidAwake ( ){, is modeled after C# code syntax. C# functions as the primary coding language of 3D video game construction. By using it to organize our work, we are symbolically positioning ourselves as artists and the viewers of our work as programmable objects. In any artistic practice, an artist struggles to mold a flexible, yet unyielding, medium to a desire, expression, or vision. New media art is no different. By handing our works over to this algorithm, we make our ties — our collusion — with the digital realm transparent for the viewer. We invite you to accept your programming and see what we see.

The titles for each section, "BuildHumanAvatar", "", "transform.Translate(x, y, z)", and "compass.Enabled(urban)", echo the questions we asked ourselves while creating these works: Do we “look at” something or someone of our own accord? Is it our choice to create meaning? Are we following the programming of another? Are we transferring our agency to the code itself? Have we become a product of the code?

The second, third, fourth, and fifth floors of Baruch’s Newman Library house the twenty-one works of our collective show. The second floor, "BuildHumanAvatar", pertains to the construction of one’s self-presentation in, obsessions within, and constructions of digital space and the lived experience, most often called “reality”. Shown in this section, Wanna Cyber? by Nadine Mamane uses installed, first generation iPod Touches to display digital sexual content to mark the modern human’s comfort exploring sexuality in the digital world through the proliferation of handheld devices. "" explores how one creates and perceives meaning on the third floor. Here, Amy Li’s Meet Encounter highlights how we build meaning through conversation and how current social norms create meaningless associations. The fourth floor, "transform.Translate(x, y, z)", explores movement and relocation. Through Busayo Adesanya’s interactive video game, hypebeastrama, one navigates a landscape exploring the mobility, both social and physical, required and upheld by hypebeast culture. On the fifth floor, works grouped under "compass.Enabled(urban)", critically analyze urban culture and the use of technology in navigating it. For NYC Dreams, Meredith Cha capitalizes on New York City as the epitome of an urban fantasy destination to characterize the illusion of digital accessibility. The breadth of work shown deepens these conversations of identity construction, meaning, movement, and urbanity in the digital age.

voidAwake ( ){ is created and curated by Baruch’s New Media Arts Capstone Class of Fall 2018; with the supervision of Katherine Behar, Associate Professor in the Department of Fine and Performing Arts in the Weissman School of Arts and Sciences at Baruch College. The exhibition is made possible by support from the Baruch Computing and Technology Center (BCTC), the Weissman School of Arts and Sciences, and the Newman Library. Works can be viewed in the Newman Library building in the New Media Art Space located on each floor from December 10, 2018 to February 1, 2010. The opening reception will be held December 10 from 1:30–3:30 PM at the New Media Art Space.