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WORLDBUILDING
with works by Jeremy Bailey and Kristen D. Schaffer, Eshrat Erfanian, Erin Gee with Alex M. Lee, and Yam Lau

Curated by John G. Hampton and Maiko Tanaka

03 November – 09 December, 2017
Opening Reception: 03 November 2017, 6-8PM
Trinity Square Video, 401 Richmond Street West


Worldbuilding is an exhibition of virtual realities debuting this November at Trinity Square Video (TSV). In early 2015, TSV invited four artists/teams to respond to the philosophical, ethical, and physical conditions of “the virtual” by creating new work using VR technology. Created by artists known for working critically in moving image, interactive technologies, animation, and architectural space, the projects they developed upend the prevailing rhetoric used to promote the VR medium and speculate on the creation of alternate realities.

As new virtual technologies begin to flood the popular consciousness via gaming, experience design, journalism, and healthcare industries, they are accompanied by claims that immersive, 360° and 3D environments create more authentic experiences of “presence”. On the one hand they claim the technology can cultivate real empathy for the experiences of others, and on the other, they enhance the resolution of militaristic ways of seeing and “voyeurism without consequence.” The artists in Worldbuilding bring a critical eye to this rhetoric emerging alongside the technology. Through the building of alternate versions of the worlds in which popular VR experiences currently exist, the artists exaggerate, undermine, and push the limits, of the claims of VR’s empathetic and experiential potential, in subtle, hilarious and re-embodying ways.


UPCOMING EVENTS

04 November 2017, 1-3PM
Panel Discussion w/ Eshrat Erfanian, Erin Gee, and Alex M. Lee

02 December 2017, 1-3PM
Panel Discussion w/ Jeremy Bailey, Kristen D. Schaffer, and Yam Lau


ABOUT THE PROJECTS

Preterna by Jeremy Bailey and Kristen D. Schaffer
Preterna is a pregnancy simulator that invites viewers to become a pre, pre parent by virtually inhabiting a pregnant body. Through their vision of a future of families that transcend material constraints and labour, Jeremy Bailey and Kristen D. Schaffer satirize the utopian lifestyles often proselytized by guru tech innovators.

Waiting for Rostam by Eshrat Erfanian
Waiting for Rostam in 3D is a nine minute 360-video, capturing the mundane and everyday in Iran. With these images Erfanian brings the serenity and calm that she experienced during her 2016 visit to Tehran and Isfahan into 360 degree visual space, as a counter to hyperbolic images of Iran circulating in the west.

Project H.E.A.R.T (Holographic Empathy Attack Robotics Team) by Erin Gee with Alex M. Lee
Erin Gee creates a twist on the archetypical first person shooter war game, replacing the typical war hero protagonist with a cheerleading virtual pop superstar that combats war-zone trauma using biofeedback readings of the player’s emotions. 3D art by Alex M. Lee.

Out of this World by Yam Lau
In Out of this World, Yam Lau seeks to prolong the moment where, just as one is adjusting to a new virtual environment, the mind and body fall out of sync between the worlds of the virtual and the real. In this amplified disassociated state, he explores the striking parallels between reports of near death experience and the philosophical/experiential implications of such a state. VR environment by Jonathan Carroll.


CONTRIBUTOR BIOGRAPHIES

Jeremy Bailey is a Toronto-based self-proclaimed Famous New Media Artist. "Since the early noughties Bailey has ploughed a compelling, and often hilarious, road through the various developments of digital communications technologies."(Morgan Quaintance, Rhizome) Bailey has performed and exhibited all over the world, from bathrooms in Buffalo to museums in Moscow.

Eshrat Erfanian is an Iranian born, Toronto based multimedia artist with a PhD from York University. Her practice is focused on the accelerated effect that new technologies have on circulating and establishing images of "alterity." In 2017, Erfanian was the Artist-in-Residence at the Vermont College of Fine Arts, Faculty of the Graduate Studies.

Erin Gee is a Canadian artist who explores new media through the metaphors of human voices and electronic bodies. Her interest in what counts as a voice and a body in the digital age colours her technically innovative work, and distinguishes her practice across performance, choral composition, robotics, and audio art. http://www.eringee.net

Born in Hong Kong, Yam Lau is an artist/writer based in Toronto. Lau’s creative work and research explore new expressions and qualities of space, time and image, often combining computer-generated animation to re-create familiar spaces in varied dimensionalities and perspectives. He teaches at the Department of Visual Art at York University in Toronto.

Alex M. Lee is a digital artist who utilizes 3D animation and the potential of simulation technology in order to visualize and abstract the notion of time, space, and light - culling from concepts within science, science fiction, and Modernism. He received his BFA and MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Kristen D Schaffer performs as a heterosexual married woman of childbearing age. Schaffer graduated with an MFA from The Slade School of Art in London, UK. Her current research as a doctoral student at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education addresses how we teach socioecological issues to teenagers.


CURATORS:

John G. Hampton is the Executive Director of the Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba and Adjunct Curator at the Art Museum at the University of Toronto. His recent research includes the ontologies of stones, humorous minimalism, critical virtuality, and Indigenous relationality. He holds a Masters of Visual Studies – Curatorial Studies (2014) and is a citizen of Canada, USA, and the Chickasaw Nation.

Maiko Tanaka is the Executive Director of Squeaky Wheel Film & Media Art Center in Buffalo, NY. Since 2007 Maiko has curated projects and publications at the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery (now Art Museum at the University of Toronto) Gendai Gallery, Trinity Square Video, and Casco (in Utrecht), among others. She holds a BFA from OCAD University and an MVS from the University of Toronto.


DESIGNER:

Shaheer Tarar is a documentary artist and designer from Toronto. He uses satellite images, found footage and legal documents to trace historical events to the role they play in the contemporary moment, and presents these studies as publications, websites, large prints or multi-channel films. Shaheer is a recent graduate of OCAD University.


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Trinity Square Video
401 Richmond Street West, suite 121
Toronto ON M5V 3A8

p: 416.593.1332
e: info@trinitysquarevideo.com
www.trinitysquarevideo.com