Sixteen smart TVs pulsate art off the walls of Superchief Gallery’s newest digital art-only space. The video works on loop in the inaugural exhibit, Stimulation Overload, are mesmerizing and disruptive at the same time. They pull you in with their colors and moving parts and keep you enthralled by the various formats—54 artists' works in total, including pieces from Ryder Ripps, Claudia Mate, Miguel Ovalle, and more.
The digital and internet art exhibited in the space are a mixture of new media and video game-inspired works showcased alongside more traditional mediums of photography, video, animation, and sculpture. The artists were pulled together as a sort of "state of the union" for work that excels past the screen, says Ed Zipco, the show’s curator. He tells The Creators Project, “We’re all pretty familiar with the concept of sensory overload at this point- that psychedelic peak that slowly fades everything out into white noise and flips all of your switches off—which is a bit of the era that we’re slowly pulling ourselves out of now in regards to how the internet has affected creative culture. Images, films, and interactive media projects flash across our screens as brightly as possible—drowning the viewer in information that leaves them energized and overloaded, rather than tired and overwhelmed.”
The exhibit boasts both CG images and hand-drawn animations, alongside computer-generated films and two screens showcasing digital artwork. Terrell Davis’ Ten Squared Gallery and NewHive invite the viewer to interact and browse the work of artists with an Xbox controller and keyboard/mouse. Then, there is the artis-in-residence, Paul Miller, who has a video modulator hooked up to a playable version of 'skate,' where the friend of a player can operate the modulator to prank their friend at opportune moments with different effects. The space offers a lot of digital art adventures to explore.
Says Zipco, “We’re going to spend the first year experimenting with limited edition prints and t-shirt/zine/artbook capsule collections—different ways to present the artwork both digitally and tangibly—as well as a larger project to determine the most appropriate ways to sell digital artwork so that the artwork stays as it was intended- DIGITAL.”
The gallery space is a collaboration with The Hub, founded by conceptual artist Christopher Bleuze-Carolan, a.k.a., User Deleted, multimedia artist and designer Lelah Childs, and writer and The Verge co-founder Paul Miller. The idea is to create a space where Superchief can focus on weekly digital art exhibitions, screenings, and performances, and three days a week The Hub will become a local resource that provides a free space to the gaming community where they can play every videogame system from Nintendo, to Playstation 4, Xbox One, and other custom modded systems with their friends, for free.
But what is most incredible is the gallery at 138 Sullivan Street has a 30-year lease. That means that the curators are primed to help us imagine the future of digital arts and gaming for decades. “We’ve never had a gallery like this before,” says Zipco. “We definitely feel like kids in a candy store. We’re all dying for the future to show up, so this space will be dedicated to actively work towards it.”
Check out some digital video works from the show:
Stimulation Overload runs through this weekend at Superchief's SoHo space with The Hub, click here for more info.