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List Center's 'tele-journeys' presents new media as art form

This still is taken from Sebastian Diaz Morales' DVD projection, "15,000,000 Parachutes" (2001), part of the List Center's current exhibition.
This still is taken from Sebastian Diaz Morales' DVD projection, "15,000,000 Parachutes" (2001), part of the List Center's current exhibition.
Image courtesy / the artist

The List Visual Arts Center's current exhibition, "tele-journeys," portrays collectively the intimate, personal journeys of young artists currently living and working in Western Europe.

Co-curated by Jane Farver, director of the List Center, and Joan Jonas, professor of architecture in the visual arts program, "tele-journeys" presents single-channel videos, sound, films and video installations. It runs through July 7.

Commenting on the diversity of works and ideas in the show, Farver noted, "These artists have all sifted through ... rivers of data--current events, personal, political and artistic histories, popular culture and many other influences--to find their own voices."

Jonas named the exhibition and calls these artists "voyagers" who have made an artistic journey to gain an understanding of their places in a complex world.

Jonas, whose own work explores the relationship of new digital media to performance, added, "I find it very interesting that young artists working with different languages simultaneously are using information that has sifted down through the past 35 years involving performance art, conceptual art and all forms of media."

One work, "Sniffer," was created by MIT alumnus Mark Bain (S.M. 1998). Like a drug-sniffing dog who barks at the whiff of poppies in a duffel, "Sniffer" registers the normally inaudible electronic noise of wireless data transmissions occurring inside the Wiesner Building, then turns up the volume. Bain's work is known as "sonification."

While "tele-journeys" presents highly individual work, most of the artists represented in the show share common roots in the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, an important artists' residency/postgraduate program in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, where Jonas also teaches.

Jonas is interested in these artists who are from different parts of the world--the "tele-journeys" group hails from Argentina, Bangladesh, Germany, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Mexico and the United States--because their work, "although made in a western European context, addresses issues of identity and gender in an art world that is now global at the same time that it is local," she said.

Farver will give curator's talks on the exhibition Friday, May 17, at 7 p.m. and Wednesday, May 22 at noon. For more information, call x2-3586.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on May 15, 2002.

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