ArtStreet exhibit explores “obsession with 24/7 media”

By: Mary Kate Dorr – Asst. A&E Editor

When is the last time you checked Facebook? What about Twitter? Instagram? When is the last time you received a text, a phone call?

In a world so immersed in technology, instant gratification and news, whether it is from CNN or your roommate’s Twitter feed, it is constantly being thrown at us from all sources. This fall, ArtStreet at the University of Dayton will be exploring the effects of this bombardment of media through “Hypermediacy: The Obsession with 24/7 Media.”

The purpose of this exhibit is to examine how immediate access to information, such as news outlets and social media, affects our understanding of what news really is versus what we value news to be.

The exhibit will feature local artists Seth Wade, Matthew R. Burgy and Christopher “etch” Whyrich. These artists will immerse themselves in the world of social media for 64 hours, beginning on Monday, Aug. 25, at 8 a.m. and finalizing on Thursday, Aug. 28, at 5 p.m. Each artist will create their work based upon their reaction to various news outlets, including social media, news and other information feeds. The work will be created in The White Box Gallery (Studio D) on ArtStreet.

Students and the general public are encouraged to come experience the exhibit and interact with the artists as they react to the 24/7 media obsession. The Dayton community is invited to participate in the exhibit by suggesting subject matter by using the hashtag #hypermediacy on social media through the duration of this experience.

During the three-day period in which the artists will be responding to news, four first-year UD student groups will not only interact with the artists, but have the opportunity to create their own reactions to the concept of hypermediacy and the artists’ work.

The inspiration for “Hypermediacy” came from a conversation between ArtStreet director Brian LaDuca and Wade as they discussed how technology makes fads come and go so quickly that it is difficult to keep up with what is trending.

The exhibit will observe what happens when these artists react to everything from global to student news. This will allow the artists and the community to observe what we value as true news and what is just constant, immediate information.

Because the exhibit is being formed over the course of three days, the pieces being featured will remain unknown until the start of the exhibit. The artists will be working with various materials, including metal sculpture tools, paints, spray paint, drawing tools and printmaking supplies.

“It will continue to evolve over the next few weeks, as the exhibit will have some interactive elements as well,” associate director of ArtStreet, Adrienne Ausdenmoore said.

Wade is excited about multiple aspects of “Hypermediacy,” including the interactive nature.

“We will be updating various social media outlets throughout the art-making process, making it possible for people to share in this experience,” Wade said.

Wade is also looking forward to the challenge of the exhibit and only having three and a half days to complete his work. “That’s a pretty unique and high-pressure situation for an artist to be in,” Wade said. The artists will begin their work as the show starts by searching through the most up-to-date news headlines.

“Last week, everyone was talking about Robin Williams’ death…now my social media feeds are filled with Ice Bucket Challenges. A few weeks ago, the news was abuzz with Middle Eastern conflict; now the primary news story is the response to the shooting in Ferguson. Who knows what will happen next week?” Ausdenmoore said. She said this exhibit will be a response to the fads and news taken in on a daily basis.

The opening reception will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 28, and the Dayton community is invited to join in inspiring these artists by using the hashtag #hypermediacy.