Skrol: Art Meets Digital Media in a Huge Warehouse Showdown
Yesterday evening I attended Skrol, a presentation by of digital art by the Masters students at Vancouver's Centre for Digital Media. One of the presenters was my friend and former NowPublic colleague Ryan Nadel.
The gallery space is a former factory that manufactured forklifts (I think it was forklifts), so I enjoyed the warehouse as much as I enjoyed the presentations themselves, as the attached photos will show... at least until my phone went flat.
The work was, in my opinion, varied. The most effective presentations were also the most simple, and I felt that some were reaching too far beyond their scope of technical ability, or trying to convey concepts via technology just because the technology existed, rather than honestly engaging it (Something with a projector and...lights? I wasn't too sure, and I consider myself at least somewhat artsy).
Some items really stood out, though, due to their immediate familiarity, such as a cluttered workspace whose open web browsers were modded to misspell nearly every word: anyone who had ever dealt with anonymous comments grinned with instant recognition.
Standouts (for me) included Ryan's A Revolt Against Actuality, because one ended up interacting with it before one realized one was doing so; and Kristina Fiedrich's I M Nosferatu, in which a copy of the vamp classic was ripped to an iPhone, with the subtitles replaced with instant-messaging acronyms and emoticons. It was amazing how well the story could be conveyed in this manner.
All in all I thought it was really well done, with the students demonstrating the recognition of digital tools as hackable in terms of using them for play, or at least for a different kind of work- so the hack isn't on the tool, but on the user. Well done.
To my great dismay, however, it was but a one-night stand, and as of today the warehouse is empty once more...