the 3rd Year New Media Show
It seems as though every time we turn on the television a new cell phone is released or a satellite is being used to monitor far and distance locations. The media does a very good job at advertising corporate and government uses of digital technology but not nearly as good job at including the innovative uses of the medium by artists. The third year New Media students at Ryerson’s School of Image Arts have addressed this need in Threshold: a collection of multimedia pieces you will not find at your local Apple Store.
The role of the artist is to shock and awe the audience with their unique perspectives. This is achieved through innovative uses of already existing technology and by pointing out and commenting on developing societal phenomena. Sensor-based technologies have reached a point where games are not limited to hand-held devices but can be played using head and hand gestures. By freeing the body from the controller, communication between humans and machines becomes more natural. Satellites have allowed for instant global communication resulting in a flood of messages from around the world. Increased communication is seen as a great accomplishment with little attention paid to the toll it plays on our over-active conscious. Threshold presents a balance of optimism and pessimism associated with integrating technology into our lives and offers a glimpse at the human-machine world to come.
As McLuhan put it, “the medium is the message,” and today the medium comes in every shape and size imaginable. Digital technology is a tool to explore the inward and comment on the outward. However, mass production of personal devices re-emphasized by advertisements make it seem like big businesses have the answer of how to comprehend scientific advancements. The consequence is if everyone is using the same mediums, then everyone is reading the same message. Threshold offers personalized possibilities for using the technology and a way to more consciously decide what role technology should play in our ever-increasing hybrid reality.