How do we classify what is news — and what isn’t? How do we determine how long a news story remains relevant? What does it mean to be bombarded by news updates from the moment we wake up until the time we go to sleep?
According to artists Matthew Burgy, Seth Wade, and Christopher “etch” Weyrich, these are the questions raised by Hypermediacy: The Obsession with 24/7 Media, a live art event taking place at ArtStreet over the course of 64 hours, in which the three artists complete works based on current events. A curated exhibit will follow its completion on Thursday, Aug. 28.
The concept of the exhibit mimics the onslaught of news our society faces by forcing the artists to follow current events while responding as quickly as possible with their art. Because there are no rules for their presentations, they don’t know how the end product will look, which also reflects the unstable nature of our world today.
Appearing most prominently in the artists’ work this week was the Michael Brown case from Ferguson, Missouri, the California earthquake, the Ebola outbreak in Africa and even a mass jellyfish-sting incident in Florida. While the artists don’t aim for their works to be political, they do seek to convey the emotions, implications and deeper meanings behind these events — and how we have become desensitized to them through our constant exposure to media.
ArtStreet Director Brian LaDuca said the idea for the exhibit came after a conversation with Wade about artists’ and art galleries’ delayed reactions to current events compared to the pace of media and social media.
“Going into it, we knew the process wouldn’t be easy. This has been a challenge for the artists. But our goal is to get the viewers, especially first-year students, to think differently — perhaps for a long time,” LaDuca said.
Participants are asked to suggest news topics to the artists via twitter using #hypermediacy. For a social hub displaying the #hypermediacy traffic, visit the Hypermediacy website.