Last month, an exhibition entitled “Free” opened at the New Museum. This exhibition presents the work of twenty-three artists across multiple mediums – including video, installation, sculpture photography, the internet, and sound – and reflects the ways in which art has responded to the changes brought on by the advent of the web and social media. The show is formulated around the notion that the internet has radically altered the way we share and receive information, giving the public unprecedented access to culture and therefore permanently changing the world’s cultural landscape.
One fascinating project included in the show is Lisa Oppenheim’s slideshow projection entitled The Sun is Always Setting Somewhere Else in which the artist took Flickr snapshots of sunsets taken by US soldiers based in Iraq and re-photographed the soldier’s photos against her own horizon. In another project, artist Joel Holmberg asked searching, existential questions in the user-generated forum Yahoo Answers, like ‘How does it feel to be in love?’ or ‘How do I best convince someone I am an artist,’ instead of the usual, easily answerable ones. Yet another project by Jon Rafman involved carefully recovered images from Google Street View featuring images such as one of three teenagers making an obscene gesture toward the camera.
The projects in this exhibition aim to start a conversation about how the internet has influenced and changed our entire conception of public and private and redefined our shared experience. This captivating and exceedingly generation-relevant exhibit will change the way you understand contemporary art and culture. “Free” is on view through January 23, 2011. For more information visit The New Museum here!
Image credit: Lisa Oppenheim, The Sun is Always Setting Somewhere Else, 2006, 35mm slide projection. Courtesy of the artist.