TRIVIAL PURSUITS: MASS DISTRACTION
9th Annual InterAccess Emerging Artists Exhibition
July 10 - August 15, 2009
Opening: July 10, 7pm



Trivial Pursuits presents the phenomena of digital distraction in new media art. As our attention becomes split-focused by e-mail checking, Facebook applications, instant-messaging, and blogging, our multi-tasking creates more and more data trash on the Internet. Appealing to the desire for maximal pleasure from overconsumption of media, this exhibition entices the viewer to watch, procrastinate, and play. Apparitional video projection, intermedia sculptures, and interactive site-specific installation encourage our engagement with irrelevance to resist the capitalist regime of productivity. Disjunctions between fiction and reality or functionality and redundancy posed by the six works encourage the viewer to appreciate the absurd excesses of new technologies.

Shot between natural and urban landscapes of Toronto, Houston, and Reykjavik, Blake Williams' Hotel Video projection portrays the dreamlike slippage between the interior and exterior. Beatriz Herrera's blue-faced, walking, talking hexapod Trivia Monster robot blurts useless information in user presence. Meanwhile, Erin Gee's Formants, a double-headed interactive sound sculpture, asks viewers to play. Combing of the hair on each head triggers operatic feedback, invoking strangeness about gendered technological desires. Roja Aslani's autonomous self-inflating Breathing Wardrobe and Steve Shaddick's repeatedly crashing interactive video, Restart, withholds efficient pre-visualization that interactive users are commonly accustomed to. An infinite regress of manipulated self imagery, David Han's Glass Looking Through is a site-specific installation posing as a dysfunctional interactive mirror. A viewer's presence triggers audio-visual feedback that eventually degenerates irrationally. Through indolent observation and play, Trivial Pursuits allows us to discover the bizarre and perverse effects of new media art.