Engaging Technology: A History and Future of Intermedia

Arno
Arno, 1996
Jenny Holzer
Contemporary Art: Electronic Media
Purchase: Museum of Art Endowment
Bringing together a conceptually rich collection of works by intermedia pioneers and emerging intermedia artists, Engaging Technology: A History and Future of Intermedia Art, will be on view as the major exhibition for Fall 2006.

The works are representative of how digital intermedia art has developed over the past four decades, said John Fillwalk, associate professor of electronic art and guest curator. “Tracing intermedia history, the works become more and more interactive,” Fillwalk said. “Intermedia in general works to break down barriers between artist and audience, but as the technology evolves, we can see how the artists expand on what is possible.”

Fillwalk said the term “intermedia” is fluid within the art world and not always used in a technological sense, but for this exhibition he is specifically looking at technological forms. The installation will be a blend of technological innovation and artistic invention that encourages the utmost engagement on the part of museum visitors, said curator-in-charge Tania Said Schuler.

Museum visitors got an early look at intermedia art with the installation of nine mini-LED signs by intermedia artist Jenny Holzer in August. This new museum acquisition is representative of more than 25 years of Holzer’s work, from Truisms in 1977 through Mother and Child in 2003.

With the opening of Engaging Technology in November, visitors will be invited to discover the works of pioneering and emerging intermedia artists, including Richard Bloes, Hans Breder, Adam Brown, Ken Friedman, Dick Higgins, Gary Hill, Golan Levin, Nam June Paik, and Alan Rath. Fillwalk said the exhibition is intended to give museum visitors an introduction to intermedia. “We’re trying to create an understanding of what intermedia is,” he said. “You don’t encounter these works in many galleries or museums. It’s still a bit on the fringe.”

Even so, Fillwalk doesn’t want anyone to be the least bit intimidated by the intersection of art and technology. He chose the title — Engaging Technology — because he hopes that even those who don’t usually engage with technology will be engaged by it.

“Sometimes technology can be intimidating, but here everyone is invited to participate,” he said. “I was looking for works that are inviting and humorous and works that engage people at every level.”

Exhibition Date: November 17, 2006 - March 11, 2007