Multimedia '(Un)continuity' virtual art exhibition opens through UCF this week


  • Screen capture from 'COVID 19: Cognitive Dissonance' by Cecilia Suhr,
The UCF-hosted multimedia exhibition (un)continuity opened this week virtually, a sign of the times in Florida when COVID-19 cases continue to surge and our phased reopening is paused.

Originally intended as a gallery exhibit as part of UCF's Electronic Literature Organization Conference and Festival along with a host of workshops and performances, (un)continuity has shifted to the virtual realm. The transition from four walls to pixels and personal screens is, of course, a necessity, but this added layer of physical remove and private experience adds an air of poignancy to the entire exhibition.

Curated by Shannon Lindsey, Ha’ani Hogan and Anastasia Salter and featuring artists from around the world, (un)continuity showcases pieces that "explore representation and presentation; play along spectra of light, sound, and probe the visible-invisible; and embrace unity and discord."

The 57 works featured in (un)continuity are interactive and absorbing, sure to engage even the most ardent doom-scroller. Poetry, animation and video art comfortably co-exist with games, interactive works and virtual reality.

A sense of play and a feeling of melancholy comfortably co-exist throughout, especially in the games, like "Deszczownik [Rainer]" and "Field of Cures." Elsewhere, conceptual interactive works (with teeth) like "fred :-)" and "The Forever Club" are custom-made for smartphone engagement.

The video art piece "Covid 19:Cognitive Dissonance" and interactive poetry of "Yesterday’s News: A Crossword Poem™" capture the feeling of being adrift in an apocalyptic news cycle, helping us feel a little less alone.

The intense and sobering virtual reality simulation "VR Middle Passage Experience" is the result of interdisciplinary collaboration between a group of UCF faculty. The immersive work places the viewer in a historically accurate, interactive representation of the "Middle Passage" journey where Africans were transported to the Americas by force to serve as slaves.

Another highlight is the collaborative multimedia collage "Heimlich Unheimlich," a juxtaposition of music, narrative, imagery, and manipulations of all three. Using the conceptual underpinning of Sigmund Freud's essay "The Uncanny," the work tells the story of two parallel lives shaped by "the inter-generational after effects of the Second World War."

There are many more works to be explored. We recommend setting aside an afternoon for them all, or taking in a small handful each day. 

(Un)continuity: A Virtual Exhibition can be viewed in full here. Introductory notes about the exhibition can be read here. The exhibition runs from July 16-July 30.

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