DAC Online Exhibition 2018: The Urgency of Reality in a Hyper-Connected World


 

Chair(s):


Website:


https://urgency-reality.siggraph.org/wp/

Overview:

The Urgency of Reality in a Hyper-Connected Age

“…iGen teens have more leisure time than Gen X teens did, not less.  So what are they doing with all that time? They are on their phone, in their room, alone and often distressed.”

Jean M. Twenge

Humans have questioned the idea of what is real and not since people have been asking questions.  Throughout time, events such as natural disasters and wars, or innovations in physics and technology have initiated reinvestigations of what we believe to be the true ground that we stand on.   Given that since 2012 over half of the American population now owns a smartphone, the seismic shift in how we define what is real today lies within the framework of hyper-connectivity. This is seen most clearly in the youth of today as they spend time with “friends” online with whom they are always connected to, but sometimes never see in “real life.”  They make life decisions, sometimes tragic, based on the “reality” that exists in digital space. The difference today is that most people are always connected in some way or another. Given that humans are social animals, hyper-connection has easily established a hold on us. The allure of something happening at all times keeps us from ever turning off, so much so that we sleep with our devices.  In short, for better or for worse, we have created a new digital space that is not only an extension of our older lives, but might someday, if not already, supersede it. If “reality” exists within the device of our age, then it might not be such a big deal if our Earth implodes. The kids born post 1995 do not know any other existence, thus making urgent the assessment of what is “real” within the landscape of our children’s world.

The Urgency of Reality in a Hyper-Connected Age exhibition seeks to showcase artworks that question, illustrate, embrace, make predictions or otherwise challenge the notion of what it means to define the “real” in our quickly evolving landscape of connectivity.  The concept is broad and we seek creative interpretations through art that thoughtfully addresses any aspect of the issue and that can be displayed online. This includes, but is not limited to, animations, imagery, games, performance documentation, installation documentation, interactive works, video art and works that take viewers off the exhibition page and on to their devices.  Commentary in the form of essays about the concept are welcome.