Last week in New York, Red Bull Studios held an exhibition featuring web artist Ryder Ripps and his project “Alone Together.” The show discussed the new and omnipresent nature of the internet in our lives and the idea that the more we become connected in the virtual world, the farther apart we become in the external. The show responded to the focal question in neither a negative nor positive light, but asked viewers to consider it. I was reminded of Jason Farman’s concept of the sensory-inscribed body within a world of pervasive computing. Is engaging in virtual reality distancing us from one another or is it just another way for us to experience the world?
Ryder’s show is also an example of how an art space can be turned into an interactive, all-senses experience, rejecting the traditional gallery setting. You can read the full description of the show in the articles below.
“Conceived by Ryder Ripps AlONE TOGETHER exaggerates the relationship between the content creator and content consumer, illuminating the physical solitude of virtual relationships. This dynamic is physically reinforced by the sculptures’ divided orientation between the upper and lower floors of the space. The upstairs replicates the solitary voyeurism found in the online viewing experience while the downstairs performance enacts the corporal aspects of a network.”
“Exhibition goers become voyeurs, surveilling the performative Internet experience encased below. Just steps away are six self-mediated video interviews that serve as introductions to each performer/user, drawing back the curtain of content and addressing the dichotomy between our representation and corporal self.”
You can check out the Red Bull Studios page and Ryder Ripp’s site for info on the show ad other work he’s done.
I also recommend checking out this New York Times review, which includes a Snapchat tour of the the show:http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/02/27/ryder-ripps-on-putting-virtual-reality-into-a-box/
In addition here is an article the NY Times ran an article about Ryder in the summer: