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Internet Alienation Gets Physical at Ryder Ripps' New Show

For upcoming show 'ALONE TOGETHER' the artist will situate a microcosm of the internet inside Red Bull Studios New York.
February 5, 2015, 10:25pm
Renderings of ALONE TOGETHER via

The internet has the potential to be totally immersive, but also profoundly alienating. For Ryder Ripps' upcoming site-specific exhibition at Red Bull Studios New YorkALONE TOGETHER, which was just announced today, the artist will combine sculpture and performance to expound on the increasingly apparent paradox that "the more connected we are online, the more physically withdrawn we become."

Opening on February 27, 2015, the show will string a visible cable between two floors of the space to act as "a microcosm of the internet." On the bottom floor, viewers will be confronted by the physical manifestation of a social feed—a glass cage inside which six performers sitting in cubicles in front of computer screens will be producing content which will be transported via cable to the show's second floor. There, the solitary experience of viewing content online will be compressed inside an 8ft mirrored cube with eyeholes, creating a dichotomy between content consumers and content producers. In the form of self-mediated interview, each performer will both addd to an "ever-evolving chaotic frenzy of images, raw data and digital abstraction" and increase their own estrangement.

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It may sound totally futuristic, but Ripps explains that "there are undeniable art history references embedded within," including Duchamp’s Étant Donnés and Damien Hirst’s One Thousand Years.

In addition to the events taking place within the space over the course of the six week exhibition, in partnership with alternative public high school City As School, digital arts collaboratory Powrplnt will give free courses in the usage of digital artmaking tools including 3D printing, code, and Ableton Live. Alongside the "temporary classroom" the Technigarden, a hybrid digital and organic space, will showcase works from students and the public, the express goal being "to empower students by introducing the tools of digital art production to help grow the Technigarden in URL and IRL." Says Powrplnt founder Angelina Dreem, "Our goal is to provide access to tool sets that help create more young producers, instead of consumers.”

ALONE TOGETHER opens on Friday, February 27 at Red Bull Studios. During the course of the six week exhibition, the Technigarden will be open to the public for free, and from 6 PM to 8 PM on Fridays will host panels and special events, with workshops on Saturdays and free computer access on Sundays. Check out Red Bull Studios to learn more.

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