The works in the first collection, "User," obscure the line between "user" and "used." Technology is only as effective as the user behind it, but technology simultaneously influences how and what the user does. With technology, the user participates in a cycle where our inputs become a reflection of who we are, what we see, what we fear, and what we desire. For example, Danica Raz's art game, The Third Place, highlights the flawed logic of seeking perfection in a society of perpetually-shifting standards. Femi Fagbemi's Yes, Mr. Python highlights the unseen, insidious power and authority a user hands over to an algorithm in the name of personal navigation within a digital landscape. The price for this shift in power is, in turn, the user's identity. Conversely, Adyan Rahman's ARTOMOTIF is an analysis of how personal expression can actually create identity. His work takes the concept of animation and introduces it to the world of automobiles, creating an identity for the user of the automobile. Maryam Saad's video, Pandemic Cravings 666, is an abstraction of the food we consume. It is a microscopic evaluation of our often-innocuous inputs and how they can become something much more sinister. As humans are deprived of control from technological processes, artists in "user" emphasize the necessity of retaining individuality.

Pandemic Cravings 666

Maryam Saad

Video, 2020, 1:45 RT

Maryam Saad's Pandemic Cravings 666 is a multimedia video giving a first-person perspective on the dangers in the food we consume. Videos and/or images are displayed simultaneously: one of the food pre-consumption, beside the other of the food under a magnified black and white light that reveals bacteria.

Saad's inspiration came from the hysteria generated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Her video perfectly captures the paranoia people experience as a result of this pandemic. The artist alters lighting, tones, and color combinations to show how paranoia can affect how we see food.


Adyan Rahman

Video, 2020, 1:22 RT

Adyan Rahman's debut work ARTOMOTIF is an abstraction of vehicle art. Inspired by a lifetime love of cars and cartoons, Rahman merges the two in his project. To Rahman, a car is a canvas, capable of showcasing artistic styles like classic watercolor, abstract modern art, and graffiti. A car is more than a tool to get from Point A to Point B. A car is a tool for artistic expression. When done right, a car can tell the story of whoever’s behind the wheel. Rahman's project is a fusion of the utilitarian and the aesthetic.

Adyan Rahman is a senior majoring in Statistics and Quantitative Modeling at Baruch College.

Yes, Mr. Python

Femi Fagbemi

Video, 2020, 5:25 RT

The inspiration for Yes, Mr. Python, a video project by Femi Fagbemi, stemmed from Fagbemi's observations of peoples' experiences with dating applications and websites, such as Tinder and eHarmony. Over the past few years, online dating has become increasingly popular to the point where these applications and websites have become the main source of romantic interactions. To explore this digital love phenomenon, Fagbemi's video revolves around the personification of Python, an "interpreted, high-level, general-purpose” computer programming language.

In Yes, Mr. Python, Mr. Python is the personification of the programming language, Python. In order to become a better lover for his partner, Mr. Python relies on algorithmic programming by collecting data and statistics in order to help his cause. However, Mr. Python is unaware of a lot of things—the full spectrum of the human experience and the complete autonomy of his own programming. In this trippy dramatization, Yes Mr. Python provides an answer to the question: Can an exterior force heavily manipulate the feelings, actions, and behaviors of the individual without self-awareness?

Fagbemi is a senior at Baruch College majoring in Digital Marketing with a minor in New Media Arts.

Danica Raz: First Place (Click to Play)

Danica Raz: Second Place (Click to Play)

Danica Raz: Third Place (Click to Play)

The Third Place

Danica Raz

Art games, 2020, variable durations

The Third Place by Danica Raz is an art game series that reflects not only society’s standards, but also the artist’s standards for herself. Raz's games mirror societal expectations and their ludicrous definition of success. The artwork is a three-part game series that challenges the player to play a perfect game every time. The tasks and goals differ, but they all convey the same message: mastering a skill takes hard work and dedication. And because of the various constraints and obstacles, the goal of playing a perfect game is far-fetched. Moreover, the ability to follow the specific set of steps becomes a defining factor for optimal game play. The stress and anxiety from desiring to play a game perfectly can cause an unhealthy mental state. Once the player realizes that achieving perfection is more of a desire than a necessity, they are able to relieve the pressure they put on themselves, and instead look towards working hard and developing their skill.

In sociology, "the third place" refers to a welcoming space of creative expression, connection, and growth that is normally separate from the usual home ("the first place") and work environment ("the second place"), both of which are either socially isolating or pressure-filled. The third place can be any location where one finds freedom and tranquility, which is essentially the theme for the final game in the series. Raz’s artwork is a hands-on virtual experience that demonstrates the difficulties of implementing bad habits and setting impossible standards for oneself; and in the process, learning little by little, how and why they need to escape.