Scalable Relations is a series of networked exhibitions that present media artworks by faculty of the UC Digital Arts Research Network (DARnet) across UC campuses from January 9 throughout March, 2009.
The exhibition, curated by Christiane Paul (Adjunct Curator of New Media Arts at the Whitney Museum of American Art), takes place at the BEALL Center for Art + Technology at UC Irvine; the gallery@CalIT2 at UCSD; California NanoSystems Institute CN(S)I at UCLA; as well as Media Arts and Technology (MAT) at UCSB. Scalable Relations brings together works that explore digital media’s capability of representing a growing amount of data in constantly evolving relations. Addressing a range of issues, the projects in Scalable Relations illustrate the complexities and shifting contexts of today’s information society.
One of the distinctive features of the digital medium is its capacity to establish relations between large quantities of data through filtering and processing according to different criteria. These constantly evolving, scalable relations affect both the production of meaning and a traditional understanding of aesthetics, which become subject to
computational logic, to the instructions given by algorithms and a constant reconfiguration of contexts. The format of the exhibition itself, in its distribution across multiple venues, mirrors the relational theme of the exhibition and the inherent connectivity of the digital medium.
The projects presented within Scalable Relations address different themes, distributed across the exhibition spaces. The six works featured at the Beall Center explore patterns, complexity, and generative algorithmic process with regard to nature, organic processes, and urban development, as well as representations of online communication and sharing.
UCSD’s gallery@CalIT2 exhibits three pieces that use the framework of computer gaming for exploring social and belief systems and expand the usually confined simulated world of a game to the ‘real world.’ The three projects in the exhibition either use paradigms of gaming and play for understanding phenomena and concepts that shape the physical world, or incorporate real world concepts that one would seldom encounter within a commercial game.
The grouping of works at the California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI) at UCLA examines issues surrounding science, ethics, public health and social conditions. Taking various forms, r! anging from sound installation to new media documentary, the projects in this category deal with the social and political implications of science or the impact of poverty, alienation, and addiction.
The satellite exhibition at UCSB addresses complex behaviors and transmodalities, featuring three pieces that, respectively, investigate sensing and perception, the geometries of the invisible connections in our lives and our environment, and the multi-scale, multi-modal experience of revealing internal structures
within genomics data.
Together, the works in the networked exhibition provide a sketch of the multiple forms and themes existing within the field of new media art and illustrate the relational qualities of the digital medium.
Beatriz da Costa
Ricardo Dominguez / particle group
Antoinette LaFarge and Robert Allen
George Legrady and Angus Forbes