In Metadataphile, artists pirate and hijack technology for our own good



Even as I write this, I have six windows open on my laptop, my cell phone just inches away, and my earphones blasting music. Me? Addicted to technology? No way! At California State University Fullerton’s Begovich Art Gallery, curators Jennifer Frias and Lilia Lamas present a timely exhibition examining our social constructs created by new media and digital technology. Metadataphile: The Collapse of Visual Information suggests that over-communication through technology has lead to miscommunication.  Visually, the exhibition is a sensory experience of video, sculpture, paintings and installations, all with an affinity to new media and digital inspirations.  Many of the artists have used appropriation, pirating and manipulating imagery and reinterpreting data to get their point across. Amidst the misinformation technology often creates, we often fail to question the information being fed to us and desperately need thoughtful artworks like the ones found in Metadataphile to break the trance.  In our fast-paced technology driven society, rarely is there time to pause for reflection or analysis of all the information we take on daily.  Brooklyn artist Jason Varone’s piece Inclimate Weather  is part mural, part multi media video projection. Composed of a cartoon cloud painted directly on the wall, a video projection of reconfigured, live twitter feeds and news feeds fall vertically like rain from the painting.  Varone calls himself a landscape painter because he paints and creates topographically but he sees the new landscape as digital in our contemporary society.  Much of Varone’s work explores how we perceive social issues through various media outlets.

            As much as we distrust many people and ideologies in our society, too often we trust blindly in technology without realizing how easily our relationship to new media can be manipulated.  Artist Kim Rugg tediously deconstructs U.S. postage stamps by cutting them into little slices then reconstructing the pieces into comic book exclamations like WwOOSH! and  Splash!  across the length of the envelope.  Rugg then sent each envelope through the Los Angeles U.S. Postal Service .The machines register the stamp’s pigment rather than the image and shape and each envelope received a postmark.

            My favorite piece in the exhibition is Extruding Video Machine, Large Shape 1 by Los Angeles-based artist Peter Sarkisian.  A mesmerizing video of animated, colorful machine parts projects on a hanging sculpture, giving a three dimensional effect.  Looking at this piece evokes an interesting sensation of feeling in between real and imagined imagery.  Do not miss this show!  Metadataphile runs through September 30 at the Cal State Fullerton Begovich Gallery. A catolog of the exhibition will be published fall 2010. 

-Alyssa Cordova, contributing writer

Metadataphile:   The Collapse of Visual Information

Curated by Jennifer Frias and Lilia Lamas

 August 28- September 30, 2010


Cory Archangel and Frankie Martin, Josh Azzarella, Petronio Bendito, Matthew Bryant, Sky Burchard, Kathy Grayson, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Ken Rinaldo, Kim Rugg, Jason Salavon, Peter Sarkisian, John Sisley, Stephanie Syjuco, Michael Toillion, Jason Varone


California State University Fullerton

Begovich Gallery

800 N State College Blvd

Fullerton, CA 92834



Gallery Hours:

Monday-Thursday noon-4pm

Saturday noon-2pm

Parking is free on Saturdays


Jason Varone Inclimate Weather  2010 video projection, acrylic paint


Kim Rugg  Skrakaakt Basssh, Splash!  2009  Reconfigured postage stamp and envelope


Peter Sarkisian Extruded Video Machine Large Shape One Version 4 2008 Vacuum formed thermal plastic and video projection

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