New York, NY– April 29, 2019 – The New Media Artspace at Baruch College presents Artonomy, a group exhibition led by the Spring 2019 capstone class of the New Media Arts undergraduate minor. The exhibit will run from May 15th, 2019 to September 6, 2019 at the New Media Artspace gallery in Baruch’s Library and Information Building, 151 E. 25th Street. An opening reception will be held from 1:30–3:30 p.m. on May 15th, 2019 at the New Media Artspace; members of the public are welcome to attend and may RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Artonomy explores the spaces work and art fill in a metamorphosizing society. The exhibition displays work created and curated by Nadia Ali, Tyler Ayala, Katrina Belanger, Seth Cerrate, Jessica Damasceno, Zhi Dong, Maya Hilbert, Joyce Huang, Stephanie Jones, Jasmine Law, Ren Li, Zhi Liang, Jason Moy, Melissa Moy, Evelyn Okon, Peter Pekalski, Adriana Rojas, Allen Sanchez, Cristian Solano, Kevin Valdez, Jennifer Van Wie, Kareem Williams, Roxanne Wu and Haodi Zhang. The pieces were developed in various mediums such as video, animation, photography, sound art, interactive media, art games, and wearable sculpture.
Artonomy is a neologism that places art processes within the isochronism of a deconstructing society. Karl Marx theorized that the industrial age would result in the commodification of human mechanisms. Through the race towards hyper-productivity and profit, human bodies would become interchangeable and replaceable parts of a lifeless machine. Under such conditions, Artonomy is a term we invented to describe the quality or state of an artist’s being through self-governing or the self-directing freedom and moral independence of art. We use Artonomy to critique of these systems. Through its framework, cracks within rigid structures can become apparent, and seemingly immutable systems can decompose. Artonomy illustrates a collective journey towards the many revolutions that human minds and bodies may undergo when they realize and re-realize autonomy. The exhibition has four sections, Conform, Perform, Deform, and Reform which indicate the different stages of this process.
The second floor of the New Media Artspace presents works under the theme Conform by Seth Cerrate, Jessica Demasceno, Zhiheng Dong, Joyce Huang, Cristian Solano, and Adriana Rojas. The artworks on this floor work to comply with rules, standards, or laws, and behave according to socially acceptable conventions. Conform examines the world we live in and the structures we adhere to by working with visual metaphor. For example, Solano’s BeeHuman is a conceptual video that draws comparisons between the system of a beehive and a capitalist human society. Rojas’ video, A Little More Money uses a game engine to depict virtual work in a surreal office setting.
On the third floor, Perform, artworks by Nadia Ali, Katrina Belanger, Stephanie Jones, Ren Li, Zhi Liang, Jason Moy, and Allen Sanchez adhere to terms of or carry-out scripted patterns of behavior. This floor comprises works that yield to the function of prescribed social roles and that explore the places, comforts, and constraints of those roles. These works manifest the roles we performatively embody in response to the stifling structures we exist in. Perform includes pieces such as Ali’s coax me (don’t coax me), which uses animation to illustrate the never-ending free fall of accelerationism, or Li’s Entrapment, a video that captures the mechanization of human behavior under pressures to live up to material expectations and ambitions.
The fourth floor, Deform, presents artworks that explore the process of changing or distorting matter from its original form. Active processes of deformation are the main focus of these works which explore deformation at levels, from the initial manifestation or desire to change, to the actual act of moving away from the original matter to something new. This floor features works by Tyler Ayala, Peter Pekalski, Kevin Valdez, Jennifer Van Wie, and Haodi Zhang. For example, Valdez’s sculptural work, Queer of Hearts, creates a wearable dress out of the unconventional material of playing cards, while Ayala’s photographic work, Frame of Mind, questions perception by using anaglyphic imagery and exploring viewpoints strange to the ordinary eye.
Lastly, the fifth floor, Reform, brings together artworks that make changes within an institution or practice in order to improve conditions. Reform signifies an awakened consciousness that can result in the beginnings of change. The artists on this floor, Maya Hilbert, Jasmine Law, Melissa Moy, Evelyn Okon, Kareem Williams, and Roxanne Wu, showcase the need for change within our world. Their artworks not only inform us of faults and abuses, while also offering suggested solutions. This floor features works like Okon’s conceptual video eVALU(E)ate, which uses the theme of gentrification to question the capitalist structure of the art market, which can impede less affluent communities, showing how gentrification can negatively impact art even when it results from how we as a society place value on art. Law’s Energy Retention presents a gameplay recording of a 2D game created by Law that asks players to examine the limitations of every participatory, goal-oriented system and invites players to invent new ways to “play” within those rules.
The artists completed their pieces under the supervision of Katherine Behar, Associate Professor of New Media Arts, Department of Fine and Performing Arts at Baruch College, CUNY. The Artonomy exhibition concludes their New Media Arts undergraduate minor at Baruch College, CUNY.
Gallery Location: New Media Artspace at Baruch College, Library and Information Building, 151 E. 25th Street, New York, NY 10010
Gallery Hours: The New Media Artspace is open to the CUNY community during the regular Newman Library hours. The public can request access to the New Media Artspace at the security desk on the second-floor entrance to the library during public hours. For this week’s public hours, please check the gallery website: www.newmediartspace.info or dial a docent at (626) 312-1664. The New Media Artspace is a teaching exhibition in the Department of Fine and Performing Arts at Baruch College, CUNY. Located within the Newman Library, the New Media Artspace exhibits curated experimental media and interdisciplinary artworks by international artists, students, alumni, and faculty.
About Baruch College: Baruch College is a senior college in the City University of New York (CUNY) with a total enrollment of more than 17,000 students, who represent 160 countries and speak more than 100 languages. Ranked among the top 15% of U.S. colleges and the No. 4 public regional university, Baruch College is regularly recognized as among the most ethnically diverse colleges in the country. As a public institution with a tradition of academic excellence, Baruch College offers accessibility and opportunity for students from every corner of New York City and from around the world. For more information about Baruch College, go to www.baruch.cuny.edu.