loading ...


the state of resembling or being alike.

resemble (verb): to have qualities or features, especially those of appearance, in common with someone or something; to look or seem like.


about; concerning.


the outward appearance or apparent form of something, especially when the reality is different.

re:semblance is about the appearance of reality.

Curatorial Statement

— Jose Daniel Benitez, Bryan Campana, Kaitlyn Chiu, Milli Encarnacion, Maya Hilbert, and Kezia Velista

re:semblance explores the distortions that have been brought about by the collision of the online world and the “real world,” as our society becomes increasingly intertwined with technology. These distortions manifest differently across all ages, regions, and backgrounds. While we do not have a finite answer as to the effects of the increased dependency of the online world, re:semblance is here to start this discussion.

We experience these distortions at the site of our bodies. The artworks in re:semblance look at how these distortions reshape our semblances through virtual bodies, masked or camouflaged bodies, and disembodiment. During the pandemic, our physical bodies have become increasingly precarious, revealing our vulnerabilities. While our physical bodies are sheltered in place, we use our virtual bodies to be less encased.

A majority of the artworks in this exhibition were made during the pandemic, while a few were made beforehand. The existing artworks juxtapose with the former to highlight our ever-changing normal. With limited access to the physical world and face-to-face contact with others, the virtual world may act as a temporary substitute for – or a semblance of – society. Online, we are swaddled by the blanket of anonymity. Our technology allows us to cast a literal and metaphorical screen to distort our authentic selves. If that authenticity is compromised, how are we representing ourselves and why? What semblance of self do we choose to embody?

Works in the Exhibition

The works in this exhibition respond in various ways to the condition of appearing to be like something and to a disconnect from semblance. In their dissection of distorted bodies and spaces, the artists are responding to a world in which both presentation and perception are increasingly unreliable. The organization of the works takes the viewer on a journey leaving the semblance of a physical body and entering the semblance of a virtual body in a virtual world.

Keeping Face by Harry Dwinell explores the truth behind how we respond when asked “How are you?" through the use of photography and mirrors. We are offered a glimpse into the minds of subjects facing the effects of the pandemic. The images remind viewers of our shared experiences and normalize admitting that we are not okay.

Tiffany Huang’s animation How Was Your Day? follows a health worker's struggle to remain an outwardly functioning member of society who is falling apart internally. After long days of emotionally and physically masked work, it becomes impossible to unmask even in safe spaces online.

#LolMood is a collection of 10 short videos by Kezia Velista that explores the disembodiment between our digital bodies, how we present ourselves online, and the expression of our internal emotions. Through the investigation of a smartphone, Velista opens up a discussion on the performative aspects of social media such as TikTok, Twitter, and Instagram.

Anna Kroll and Chloe Engel’s performance piece I Want to Be explores the verbal descriptions of a fictional space and the physicality of interactions through emotional states. Each room is created with the intention of being destroyed, as it is often necessary to destroy in order to create.

The City That Slept by Campana, Chiu, Khan, Lee, Omar, Raz, and Wu uses Zoom's virtual space to showcase their disorienting experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is a video montage inspired by the exquisite corpse, a surrealist method used to create collective and interpretative art. This work serves as a glimpse into each person's day-to-day routine through a plethora of activities as a means of coping in these times of uncertainty, where "normal" has become an elusive conviction.

In The Hedgehog's Dilemma, Nathan Harper confronts visitors with constructed virtual bodies that share their own names, encouraging an unexpected connection between the visitor and the originator of these Sonic the Hedgehog OCs: a shared identification in an anonymous digital universe.

Voidopolis is a digital performance on Instagram by Kat Mustatea that uses an algorithm to wipe humans out of stock photographs. Mustatea explores the ideas of disembodiment within the digital space. What is the human form after numerous iterations online? What is lost in algorithms? What do we remember from social media posts?

Sublime Truth Flowers by Jose Benitez illustrates the fragmentation of reality through a “glitch” video. Sublime Truth Flowers poses the question of whether or not we find beauty in nature as it is or as we think that it is supposed to be. Inspired by Kant’s idea of sublime, Benitez challenges the viewers’ perspective of normality through the over-saturation and collaging of everyday things.

Alex Pitre’s Tokyo Drift 3 explores tendencies of the human mind, as when we get overwhelmed with the struggles of daily life and dissociate to a place in our minds where we feel content or “happy.” Through the utilization of Google Maps, Pitre explores this concept as the visual representation of Tokyo, Japan becomes more distorted and displaced as one wanders the streets of Tokyo.

Memory is always in the periphery is a film that is part of an ongoing collaborative VR project led by Aditi Kulkarni and Payal Arya. In this project, they illustrate a simulation of a moment in time, by capturing isolated spaces tapping into the potential of 3D scanning technologies to mimic our reality.

Divina Galería by Heena Malhotra is a virtual museum that explores the question, “What does the disembodiment of a museum mean for the art world?” Malhotra subverts the usual function of traditional art museums through her use of virtual space allowing Divina Galería to be an exhibition within an exhibition.

Hashim Effendi’s film and illustration series, My Pineal Biography of COVID’s Trepanation, illustrates the stress and changes experienced during isolation. Before the pandemic began, it was common for people to fantasize about their ideal lifestyles, with media as a primary influence. But as the realities of the pandemic hover over their shoulders, their mindsets are evolving to a more progressive, rather than imaginative, state.

Milli Encarnacion’s VR experience Digital Death visualizes what the contemporary ego-death experience may look like. In today’s digital world of selfies, social media, and surveillance capitalism, Encarnacion asks, how do you separate your true self from your various cyber personas?

re:semblance is curated by the New Media Artspace Docent Team: Jose Daniel Benitez, Bryan Campana, Kaitlyn Chiu, Milli Encarnacion, Maya Hilbert, and Kezia Velista. The exhibition was produced with support from 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.