The gallery is abuzz with conversations and the bustling of the crowd. Echoes from across the room reach to every corner, giving the feeling that one is observing the art in the company of someone else.
The Memorial Union Gallery’s “Hysterical Sublime” collection came to a close Thursday. The closing reception featured talks from the artists themselves on their process, intention and technique behind their creations.
The exhibition, which has been running since mid-December, showcased the work student artists in advanced photography and digital media. The primary goal of the presented work was to analyze and interpret how we interact with technology through various media.
Each collection of art was stark and singular against the walls, yet the overarching theme of the exhibition united them all as one cohesive piece. Although each piece was composed of different mediums represented very different subject matter, the feeling of connection was not severed.
One of the first artists to present was Derek Hatzenbuhler, whose piece entitled “24 Hours” centered around missing persons and the locations from which they disappeared.
“Each image is supposed to represent a place that an individual went missing. A lot of them went missing 20 to 30 years ago. I always thought it was an interesting concept,” Hatzenbuhler said.
The project was presented through a series of four images accompanied by a slideshow showing photographs of the place where the missing disappeared. A feeling of nostalgia was furthered by a yellowish hue applied to each of the photographs.
Packed with emotion and unease, this piece, along with its yellow tinge, inspired a feeling of paranoia as if any place could be the last one that you would see.
A similar feeling was instilled by the rest of the exhibition. As a whole, the cohesiveness of the collection gave the audience a further appreciation for the mundane world that would normally be taken for granted.
In one of the digital media pieces, artist Nicholas Reitan used social media as a mode of storytelling, YouTube in particular.
Reitan took screen captures from successful YouTube personality Troye Sivan’s videos and averaged out the colors, creating a visual digital footprint.
“They are in chronological order; it essentially creates a timeline of the color change throughout all of his videos, present day to past. It’s more so like a digital tree ring,” Reitan elaborated.
Many works focused on how the natural world coexists with the digital world humans have created. This was done through overlaying GPS information over a physical map or people overlaid with an image of their favorite place.
The presence of technology along with human elements in the artists’ work lent an intangible quality to each piece along with an aspect of familiarity. The students were more than proficient in finding ways to explore this topic through images based in data.
Now in the Memorial Union Gallery, the Fargo Moorhead Visual Artists members are displaying the works of their juried exhibition which will run until March 3.