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Alberta artwork exhibit makes use of digital actuality to discover who we're as digital beings

Why are individuals desirous about digital actuality and what can it inform us about who we're and what we would grow to be in a digital world?

“As an artist, it’s a query I’ve been asking for many years,” mentioned artist and media arts professor Marilene Oliver. “Now with digital actuality, after we actually are fully immersed within the digital, I needed to ask that query.”

Along with her instructing work, Oliver is the co-curator of an artwork exhibit on the College of Alberta’s Positive Arts Constructing gallery known as Know Thyself As a Digital Actuality.

“It’s primarily based on a Greek maxim: Nosce te Ipsum, which was used within the Temple of Apollo in Delphi. In that point, it was: ‘To know your home inside a social hierarchy.’

“Later you discover it in anatomical engravings, the place it’s: ‘To know thyself as a divine work of God.’ And now, the extra we’re changing into digital, the extra we’re creating these large information units of all the pieces we do, we now have to know ourselves, I imagine, as digital objects and topics,” Oliver defined. “That is what we're known as to do now to know ourselves.”

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There are seven artworks that use digital actuality to discover totally different facets of knowledge and the digital facets of human life. The works introduced collectively many various disciplines together with nice artwork, radiology, engineering, music, digital humanities and computing science.

Oliver explains one focus of the exhibit as: “Can we discover a strategy to visually talk what we’re changing into as digital beings?”

That’s the place the digital actuality is available in. Donning a headset and hand controls, an individual is immersed in information — the knowledge, the way it seems to be, sounds and feels — and may work together with it.

“In one of many tasks that I used to be a part of, known as My Knowledge Physique, we attempt to create a physique which you'll be able to take aside and dissect,” Oliver defined.

“It has many various information our bodies in it. It has my MRI scan, all my social media information, my Google information, banking information, my information cookies and it’s put it in sort of this vessel that you could then take aside in an try and attempt to see it, to attempt to maintain it, as a result of how else can we see all this information that we’re producing?”

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Know Thyself artworks

The place are You? 

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“aAron Munson has made a piece known as The place Are You? and that makes us take into consideration how social media is altering the best way our mind works and the place we place our consideration,” Oliver mentioned.

Munson in contrast fMRI scans of their mind: impartial, after meditating and after utilizing social media. Individuals can use the VR headset to expertise the three totally different mind scans.

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a vessel, a physique, a house

“Chelsey Campbell has made a bit that could be very peaceable and restful,” Oliver mentioned. “It makes us take into consideration how a lot work we continuously really feel we should be doing on a regular basis. She stands towards that and has created a really quiet area the place it is best to simply lay and luxuriate in the fantastic thing about the room.”

Within the VR expertise, the person is transported to a home bed room area.

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Ancestry & Me

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“We've got one other piece by Lisa Mayes, which really isn’t with an MRI scan, however along with her DNA information,” Oliver mentioned.

“She despatched off a pattern to Ancestry and came upon about her household historical past. She talks about how the scientific information recording in some way legitimized all of the conversations that had been had in her household about her ancestral roots, which come from Eire, from France, Scotland and Ghana.”

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The Nearest Window

“We've got one other artist who's presenting our bodies that aren’t usually current in digital works, that are MTurk staff,” Oliver mentioned.

Artist Dana Dal Bo seems to be at Mechanical Turk (MTurk) crowdsourcing.

“If you happen to don’t know, Amazon has a service which lets you make use of, for a little or no quantity, this invisible labour,” Oliver defined. “Individuals do surveys, they do a variety of AI processing … labelling information units.”

The artist requested MTurk’s nameless staff to take an image of what they may see out of their nearest window and ship it to her.

A mirror with no reflection

“We've got the artist Nicholas Hertz, who’s made a piece which is basically concerning the expertise of being scanned and the sense of feeling that information is taken from you after which not acknowledged, probably not recognizing the outcomes of these information,” Oliver mentioned.

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Utilizing VR, viewers members can expertise MR scans, the sounds and emotions they produce and the pictures they create.

Hertz additionally questions simply how “non-invasive” this process is and what it’s prefer to see your self mirrored on this method.

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“We tried to create an exhibition which has many various views,” Oliver mentioned. “Possibly it makes individuals suppose: ‘OK, what would I do? How would I deal with my information if I have been making a VR paintings?”

She hopes the artwork makes individuals suppose personally and relationally.

“I hope firstly that they are going to take into consideration all of the our bodies of knowledge they've and the way accountable they're for it and likewise how they work together with others.”

Know Thyself as a Digital Actuality

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FAB Gallery, College of Alberta

8807 112 Road NW

Feb. 21 – March 18, 2023

Tuesday – Friday: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Saturday: 2 p.m. – 5 p.m.


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