Immersive multimedia exhibit explores our relationship to technology and ecology (PHOTOS)

Apr 28 2022, 11:22 pm

A new group exhibition opening at The Polygon Gallery in North Vancouver this spring aims to unlock the true potential of the metaverse by dismantling binaries.

Ghosts of the Machine, an immersive multimedia exhibit that opens on Friday, June 3, explores the relationships between humans, technology, and ecology.

Visitors to the Lower Lonsdale gallery will discover a new commission by Cease Wyss (Skwxwú7mesh) and works by Ho Tzu Nyen, Juliana Huxtable, Anne Duk Hee Jordan, Lu Yang, Skawennati, and Santiago Tamayo Soler.

Ghosts of the Machine

Skawennati, Birth of an Avatar (Homage to Mariko Mori), 2017/Submitted

According to curator Elliott Ramsey, the term “ghost in the machine” refers to the mind-body duality.

“(It’s) the idea of the ‘mind’ as software inhabiting the ‘body’ as hardware,” said Ramsey in a release. “Such binaries aren’t real. The mind doesn’t exist without the body.”

Ramsey added that a similar thing occurs when we try to split the virtual world from the real world.

“Virtual spaces rely on material hardware — with ecological implications — and are experienced physically,” Ramsey explained. “Similarly, we have real social and political interactions on digital platforms. We can’t constrain reality into ‘real’ and ‘virtual.’ We end up sliding across these boundaries like ghosts through walls.”

Ghosts of the Machine

Santiago Tamayo Soler, Retornar, 2021, created as part of the PHI Montreal 2021 Residency/Submitted

The Ghosts of the Machine artists used technology to push the limits of the medium as well as offer insights into material, social, and environmental conditions.

Highlights include Nyen’s No Man II, an installation that uses projection and audio with a two-way mirror to surround the viewer with dozens of avatars, not all of which are human.

Ghosts of the Machine

Ho Tzu Nyen, No Man II, 2017, Courtesy of Artist, Galerie Michael Janssen, Edouard Malingue Gallery/Submitted

Lu Yang’s Doku: Digital Alaya series explores the relationships between human, nonhuman, and cyborg life. Santiago Tamayo Soler’s Rotornar creates a parable of queer avatars and an Earth in crisis.

Ziggy and the Starfish by Anne Duk Hee Jordan is an interactive sculpture that becomes a cozy, small theatre where guests can watch otherworldly sea animals seduce each other.

Ghosts of the Machine

Anne Duk Hee Jordan, Ziggy and the Starfish, detail from video installation, 2016/Submitted

And Skawennati has created eyecatching machinimagraphs for the exhibition. The images captured in virtual scenarios spotlight her dimension-defying avatar from the online game Second Life.

Ghosts of the Machine will be exhibited from June 3 to August 14. Public programming related to the exhibition will take place on Thursday evenings throughout the summer.

Ghosts of the Machine

Lu Yang, Hell Realm #1, 2021

Two short film programs will be screened, in addition to VR experiences curated and programmed by IM4. And Wyss and her daughter, Senaqwila Wyss, will host talks and nature walks in Harmony Gardens.

Ghosts of the Machine at The Polygon Gallery

When: Wednesday to Sunday from June 3 to August 14, 2022
Time: 10 am to 5 pm (open until 8 pm on Thursdays)
Where: The Polygon Gallery – 101 Carrie Cates Court, North Vancouver
Admission: By donation

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