MEDIA UNDER DYSTOPIA 2.0 | Press Release
The first iteration of Media Under Dystopia 1.0 introduced the audience to a conversation around art, its relationship to digital culture, and the internet. Media Under Dystopia 2.0 (MUD 2.0) presents artworks created by visual artists using technology as a creative medium, exposing the audience to a tech-centered artistic practice with an interrogative methodology that deconstructs digital and technological environments.
MUD 2.0 introduces the audience to a hybrid experience on both physical and virtual platforms aiming to extend the in-person experience to the digital realm. The virtual Xart metaverse experience will be available through the XRhub.art platform. The MUD 2.0 hybrid exhibition will run from December 3, 2021, to March 3, 2022.
MUD 2.0 highlights artwork encapsulating the complexities of art in the digital age. Alba Triana, Yucef Mehri, Leo Castaneda, Jose Ignacio Hernandez, and Rodolfo Peraza offer the audience an opportunity to experience art and its intersection with technology. Alba Triana uses electromagnetism to create unpredictable choreographies of suspended needles in Entropic Ballet, reflecting the orderly chaos of natural systems. In Levels & Bosses, Leo Castaneda questions power dynamics by deconstructing the hierarchic structure in video games. Yucef Mehri raises cultural and digital awareness through technology and language in his artwork We Are Being Watched. Jose Hernandez engages spectators, as virtual reality users, in his transformative musical composition Trinity. Finally, Rodolfo Peraza, with Pilgram: Naked Link 3.0, explores the boundaries between data visualization and XR interfaces.
Media Under Dystopia 2.0 is made possible with the support of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor, and the Board of County Commissioners.
Special mention to Big Motion Studio for their generous support in sponsoring MUD 2.0.
MUD Foundation Inc.
350 Northeast 75th Street
Virtual location: XRhub.art
Opening: December 3, 2021
Closing: March 3, 2022
Entrance free of charge
ABOUT THE ARTWORKS IN THE EXHIBITION
from the series Delirious Fields
Suspended needles in variable electromagnetic fields
This series of works explore the relationship between perceptible and non-perceptible systems in the natural world. Electromagnetic fields stimulate a tangible element—in this case, suspended needles—to make them display intricate gestures, comparable to choreography.
The gestures are aleatoric. However, established conditions, like the distance between needles and coils and the strength of the fields, make them predictable in a general sense. Variable degrees of randomness and organization make the choreography remindful of natural systems, like flocks of birds or multitudes in the streets.
The work examines how universal laws of chance determine the organization and interaction between tangible and intangible elements in the natural world.
from the series Levels&Bosses
Virtual environment, wallpaper, drawings
In a virtual environment, a set of drone-like beings analyze and manipulate an organic mass-like entity. Testing modes of interaction through varying intensities of light and touch, the drones train to interact with a section of a sentient world whose material properties are uncertain, shifting between liquid, solid, and gas states.
Drawings relating to the process and environment accompany a wallpaper that serves as a simulated U.I. for future or alternate world technology where landscapes, living beings and machines are interchangeable and interconnected. Images of perhaps an inventory or interface around or inside the entities.
A micro-scene from the expanded video-game experience Levels & Bosses.
We Are Being Watched
Custom software, TVs, camera, projector
We Are Being Watched is a computer-generated work comprising 4 screens and a live feed projection. Each screen displays one word of the aforementioned title, moving vertically on the screen, glitching like damaged VHS tapes or old TV reception. The projection shows a glitched live feed of the audience over the glass doors of the exhibition space, enabling people outside to see what is happening inside.
The work interrogates the classic surveillance slogan We Are Being Watched by reframing the YOU as WE. This semantic alteration places the awareness in the people who are being watched while diminishing the power of the invisible watcher, the Orwellian Big Brother, the all-seeing eye of a totalitarian police state. In the ‘we’ there is a communal experience that empowers the surveilled targets, providing a sense of inclusion rather than fear and paranoia.
Jose Hernandez Sanchez
Music, video, virtual reality
A music composition takes place in a virtual reality space, where the spectator—user—will be able to move around it, altering the music depending on where they are within the space. The work features video as well, this being part of the musical ‘narrative’.
Pilgram 3.0: Naked Link
Internet traffic packages, computer, software, video projector, monitor, printer, paper
Pilgram 3.0: Naked Link is the continuous process of a conceptual work that explores the boundaries between data visualization and art made from data collection, creating a link between scientific InfoVis & data sublimation. Pilgram 1.0, the first iteration, was made in 2015 and opened a hotspot in Havana. The 2.0 iteration showed the invisible structures that tie the U.S. (Miami) and Cuba, monitoring and analyzing the packet data traffic.
The 3.0 naked links iteration will be a search in the possible changes (or not) of communication infrastructure since the 2.0 research. The 3.0 iteration will display (in real-time) how the flow of communication between the two cities and the two countries is taking place nowadays. Pilgram: Naked Link 3.0 will visualize in real-time XR interfaces (extended realities) the links and infrastructure between the two countries that otherwise wouldn’t be visible with the naked eye.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Alba Triana’s artistic practice focuses on exploring the inherent intelligence of nature. Her artworks—which include sound and light sculptures, vibrational objects, and resonating spaces—are hybrid and cross the boundaries of a diverse set of fields. Artburst Magazine describes her as a “sound sculptor explor[ing] the interface between natural science and music… she combines rigor and poetic finesse.”
Triana has received honors including the Civitella Foundation Fellowship (worldwide), South Arts State Fellowship (U.S.), and was the winner of awards in Colombia, such as IDCT National Composition Contest, National Electroacoustic Music Contest, “Otto de Greiff” National Contest, and French Alliance Best Exhibition of the Year Award. She has obtained commissions, residences, and grants from Kronos Quartet, Pro Helvetia (Switzerland), American Composers Forum, Oolite Arts (U.S.), GMEB (France), and Ministry of Culture (Colombia).
Her work has been shown in venues around the world, including Museum of Modern Art of Bogotá – MAMBO (Colombia), Némo— Biennale des Arts Numériques de Paris (France), Sónar+D Festival, CCCB—Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona (Spain), ISEA—International Symposium of Electronic Arts (Colombia), CMMAS (Mexico). Triana has participated in festivals such as Futura, Synthèse (France), and Zilele Muzicii Noi (Moldova). Her work belongs to art collections in Europe, Latin America, and the U.S., including the Otazu Collection—2020 Arco Prize for Collecting—as well as the Banco de la República de Colombia.
Leo Castañeda (b. Cali, Colombia 1988) is an artist and game designer living in Miami, FL. Fusing gaming, painting, virtual reality, drawing, and sculpture, Castañeda’s work reimagines the economic, environmental, and posthuman anatomies that govern mythologies from video games to global politics. For over ten years Castañeda has been developing the Levels & Bosses series using digital gaming structures to create transmedia worlds that dissolve the boundary between analog and digital. Today, Levels & Bosses culminates in an episodic video game and installation series that investigate interaction across the gaming industry.
Castañeda received his BFA from Cooper Union in 2010 and MFA from Hunter College in 2014. Residencies include SOMA Mexico City attended through the Cisneros Foundation (2014); “Of Games III” at Khoj International Artists Association in New Delhi India (2015); Bronx Museum AIM Program (2017), and Oolite Arts Studio Residency (2018–2019).
Castañeda’s work has been featured in Killscreen, Rhizome, El Nuevo Herald, El Pais, and Vice. Exhibitions and screenings span Hek Basel (2021), Museo la Tertulia (2020), Bronx Museum of the Arts (2017), Bass Museum (2020), Espacio Art Nexus (2017), Frost Art Museum (2012), Wolfsonian Museum (2019), Children’s Museum of Manhattan (2019), IndieGrits Festival (2017), and more. He is a recipient of South Florida Cultural Consortium Visual/Media Artists Fellowship, Locust Projects Wavemaker Grant, and the Oolite Arts Ellies Creator Award.
Castañeda is currently a professor of 3-D animation at New World School of the Arts in Miami, FL.
Yucef Merhi (b. 1977) is a Venezuelan-born artist based in Miami, FL. He studied philosophy at Universidad Central de Venezuela, The New School, and holds a Master’s in Interactive Telecommunications from New York University. He is currently a fellow at the MIT Open Documentary Lab.
Merhi has been producing works that engage with poetry, VR, facial recognition, AI, Web apps, and retro video game platforms, towards the formulation of dynamic, immersive, and interactive linguistic experiences. By exploring the interconnections between language and technology, Merhi has been able to create different bodies of work, addressing philosophical, political, ecological, and social issues, while proposing alternative ways to experience natural language and code.
His work has been exhibited in museums, biennials, galleries, and public spaces in the Americas, Europe, and Asia, including the New Museum, New York; LACMA, Los Angeles; Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, Caracas; De Appel, Amsterdam; Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin; and Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul; among others. He is the recipient of a New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship in Digital/Electronic Art, the 2018-19 CIFO Grant for Mid-Career artist, and the studio residency award at the 30th Ljubljana Biennial.
José Hernández Sánchez creates what he calls composed situations. These are music compositions that extend to other media like performance and film. In them, musical contexts are established by appropriating music, texts and images, and utilizing their connotations. These contexts are usually mixed and used to generate uncertainty, a vital aspect in his work.
His pieces have been performed at international festivals and events in Latin America, the United States and Europe. In 2018 Radio Nacional de España featured a monograph dedicated to his work. Renowned venues like New York University, and the International Aesthetics and Philosophy of Music Congress (Ecuador) have invited him as speaker on Aesthetics and Contemporary Music.
José held a faculty position in Music Composition at Javeriana University in Bogota, Colombia from 2004 to 2010, where he also acted as Coordinator of the Department of Music Composition. Currently based in Miami, he is now a board member of the South Florida Composers Alliance.
Rodolfo Peraza is a Cuban-born multimedia artist who works between Cuba and the US. His work focuses on public spaces, both virtual and physical, and DataViz related to the Internet culture and the footprint it leaves in society.
Peraza, Fanguito Estudio’s founder in Havana, launched the VRLab to develop browser-based VR technology, exploring and promoting the intersections between data, art, and the internet. Peraza created the MUD Foundation in Miami to advance the intersections between art and digital technologies.
His work has been exhibited internationally at SIGGRAPH, Los Angeles, California; the Pérez Art Museum, Miami, Florida; the XII and XIII Havana Biennial; Künstlerhaus, Vienna; the Jumex Collection, Mexico City, among others. His work is part of the AGO Museum collection in Toronto, Canada, and the JUMEX permanent collection. Among other recognitions, his project Pilgram: Naked Link 2.0 received Cannonball’s WaveMaker Grant. In 2021 was awarded The Knight Arts + Tech Fellowship.
Our mission: To facilitate educational and artistic projects where the internet, data, virtual reality, and art converge. We raise awareness of contemporary digital culture and its footprints.
MUD Foundation is a 5o1c3 organization
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