Although we live in an era where most people engage with digital media everyday, we can still categorize people into two categories: those who use digital tools and those who manipulate or fabricate content using digital tools. What Happens When… presents time-based works from artists at various stages in their careers in order to look at the ways these processes differ and overlap.
The screening begins in a reality that is similar to the average “user”: documentation of one’s life mediated through a social channel (AJ Addario), interactions with commercially distributed media (Cindy Hinant), attempts to understand oneself through a screen (Levente Pavelka), the control companies maintain over communities (Taylor Ervin) and the effects all of this has on our planet (Jon Chambers, Colleen Tuite & Ian Quate). The works eventually zoom in until we are fully immersed in virtual space where objects become ugly but polished, liberated but restricted. As this space is explored, we close with Richard Munaba’s “Who Can Say,” asking us to reflect on whether the virtual world we strive to inhabit is really the answer to our problems.