THIS EXHIBITION COMES TO YOU, COURTESY OF:

  1. The piss-poor handling of the COVID-19 pandemic in the USA
  2. The ubiquity of using the internet as a mandated way of being because of 1.
  3. The necessity of reconsidering the physical art exhibition (hell, maybe art altogether) because of 1.

To this end, this online exhibition has all the bells and whistles of a standard exhibition – artists making unique works around a binding theme outlined in a statement – but its potential may be slightly different from its brick and mortar brethren. Part of this is by design: a show about a massive shift in our sociality should probably somehow represent just how different this shift feels. It is not currently safe to view art in a public space, and this is a loss. Not just for seeing a work of art outside of a screen, but also in that it has created a scenario in which we reconsider what constitutes a public. This means that having a simple “post-internet” exhibition would be woefully obfuscating this new reality we are in, and while this exhibition traffics in the mire of radical joy, it’s not necessarily celebrating the conditions that lead to its inception.

This exhibition is divided into three “usable” sections. The first is:

GANZFELD TESTS

This section essentially documents a crucial process of this exhibition: conducting ESP tests. These are presented edited for the sake of attention span rather than any conceptual design. These tests are very easy to conduct on Zoom. You’ll find below a link to the flashing strobing red gif used. Simply open the gif with your web browser and share this screen with the person you are on call with. From here, ask your person to listen to some kind of white noise recording (there are plenty on YouTube) and for them to cover or close their eyes. This is as close to representing a standard light-bathed sensory deprivation test with no budget as we could get, but there are certainly other more tech-savvy solutions if you’re looking for them. Next, conjure an image in your mind and attempt to transmit it to your person. We set a 10-minute timer, but several participants wished for a longer test duration. At the end of the test we discussed the experience and the results. IF this seems a ridiculous way to use Zoom, consider that this is how most of the United States is conducting all facets of living, working, and communicating right now.

The second section is:

TELEPATHIC FREQUENCIES (TRANSCRIPTS)

This section is a written and visual (via links) transcript of the telepathic visions, feelings, sounds, etc. seen by the participants in the Zoom Ganzfeld Tests. In some cases, the participants looked to these telepathic frequencies to create or inspire an external work of art. This is perhaps the value of these transcripts: their rhythms of free associations supply unique possible combinations. For this reason, they are as much visual prompts to the viewer as they are documentation. We welcome the open interpretative potentials of others using these transcripts as possible jumping off points for new works. Documentation, particularly in the time of forced lack of social exposure, should do more than sit on its ass in a website.

The third section is:

POST-TEST RESPONSES

This section features the works created by the participants of the Zoom Ganzfeld Tests. The range of responses to this “testing “experience represents the efficacy of the initial prompt: what new or unexpected things might come out of a futile attempt to communicate an idea? What arises from new social conditions that impose altered states on all of us? Lastly, what sort of art can we summon ourselves to make given all of these restraints, and what joy or political legibility can arise from this whole complicated new process of starting over from zero? These works are for YOU; distant collaborations that you might not have known necessary to see. The best case scenario, a poetic even maybe, is that ways of doing things are always open for negotiation, can be viewed otherwise, if you want it.

Practical Elements:

It is advised that you explore this website from a desktop or laptop, with your popup blocker disabled.

click here for the flashing strobing red gif