How can a diverse audience actually be reflected through technology-based works in an art gallery?
An exhibition at New Westminster’s New Media Gallery is exploring the ways in which machines reflect, interpret and “see” a diversity of visitors to the gallery.
MirNs opened March 13 and is running until May 30 at the downtown gallery.
“This exhibition emerged from a rich period of enquiry around equity and diversity,” said a press release from the gallery.
MirNs refers to Mirror Neurons, which the release notes are of interest in biology, psychology and physiology as well as robotics, artificial intelligence and coding.
“Scientists theorize that the mirroring nature of MirNs generate imitative behaviours, resulting in empathy and the capability for esthetic experience,” the release says. “It has been stated that mirror neurons are responsible for making us human.”
In the new, no-touch interactive exhibition, human interaction with the works reveals how we perceive and interpret the “actions, behaviour and output of these mirroring machines.”
“In this liminal space, a multiplicity of ephemeral portraits and self-portraits are generated and flow; saved to machinic and biologic memory,” the release says. “Through interactive robotics, neural networks, algorithms, coding, artificial intelligence, micro controllers, proximity and motion sensors and facial recognition, these mirroring machines reflect and expose human diversity in a world of technology.”
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The exhibition includes multiple works by international artists, including Fragments, by Random International (a collaborative contemporary art studio based out of London and Berlin); Uncanny Mirror, by Mario Klingemann; Nonfacial Mirror, by Shinseungback Kimuyonghun; Liminal, by Louis-Phillipe Rondeau; Pom Pom Mirror, by Daniel Rozin; and Ego, by Klaus Obermaeir, with Stefano D’Allesio and Martina Menegon.
The exhibition, to follow COVID-19 protocols, is available by booked visit only. The gallery allows one booking every hour, on the hour, and each booking is limited to a “bubble” of up to six people. Bookings are in high demand, and the exhibition is already booking into April.
The New Media Gallery is on the third floor of Anvil Centre, 777 Columbia St. Enter through the Columbia Street doors and check in at the front desk.