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X: Variations in Experience

May 28 - June 15, 2019
Still from animation, depicting a white silhouette of a head with a small human figure inside an inner hollow space. In the background are psychedelic colors and shapes.


Thu, May 30; 6:00 - 8:00pm

School of Visual Arts presents “X: Variations in Experience,” an exhibition of select thesis projects by MFA Computer Arts students. Curated by Chinlung Chuang (MFA 2015 Computer Art) and Jamie Keesling (MA 2013 Critical Theory and the Arts), the exhibition will be on view from Tuesday, May 28, through Saturday, June 15, at the SVA Chelsea Gallery, 601 West 26th Street, 15th floor, New York City.

The MFA Computer Arts graduates’ thesis projects on view in this exhibition are a culmination of two years of intensive study. “X” represents an intersection, a cancellation and an unknown variable. Phonetically, it is the first syllable of “experience,” the question of which unites these diverse projects. Artists in this exhibition envision personal transformations, experiment with storytelling and question the relationship between digital technology and human life. To varying degrees descriptive, abstract and humorous, many of the works on view represent struggles to adjust to new situations within ourselves and in the external world. Prepare to encounter dystopian futures, uncanny domestic interiors, goofy aliens and constructed audio-visual environments.

Highlights from the exhibition include Santiago Messier’s Control: The Illusion of, a multichannel, interactive, immersive installation that questions the relationship between humans and machines by asking, “Who is really in control?” Messier will demonstrate the installation’s possibilities at a performance during the exhibition reception. Xiaoyue (Sherry) Liu’s Where Did All the Squirrels Go is an augmented reality environment where the interior of an apartment is inhabited by a live toy rabbit, among other surreal objects. BB Devan Symone Worth presents an escape-room style virtual reality game, ICU, where players must break out of a psychiatric ward. Viewers can also interact with Shuai Xu’s Monster Farm, a throwback style PC game operated by a keyboard and mouse. Xianwen Zhang’s animated video Realm envisions a post-apocalyptic future, coupled with an installation featuring LED lights and live plants. Sakshi Jain’s video installation World Within features poems by her grandfather, her father and herself, accompanied by delicate hand-drawn animations.

The MFA Computer Arts program at SVA emphasizes creative experimentation and a multidisciplinary approach to making art with computers and emerging technologies. Dedicated to producing digital artists of the highest caliber, the department guides each student in the development of a personal artistic style through a course of study that is individually tailored to meet his or her needs. Students come from around the world to study in this two-year, 60-credit MFA degree program, which has distinguished itself with nine Student Academy Awards. For more information, visit mfaca.sva.edu.

Free and open to the public