Friday, May 1, 2015

Much to be Desired: Triennial exhibition Surround Audience- edited

Much to be Desired: Triennial exhibition Surround Audience 

Heavy on the technology and Internet-themed works, Surround Audience presents the work of 51 early career artists including Steegmann Mangrané and his piece, "Phantom". "phantom" uses the technology of the Oculus Rift, a virtual reality gaming gear. "Oculus was looking for an opportunity to unveil its technology in a public way" Steegmann Mangrané stated, and everyone there seemed to love the experience. StAnding in line, you patiently wait your turn, while hearing each person go and gasp at what they see.
For me, I am no stranger to either the technological wonders of video games, nor the Oculus. I have experienced many games using the new technology and was excited to see what a visual artist would do with something like that. When you put on the head gear you are transported to a digital forest; Mangrané chose an endangered forest in Brazil. For those who haven't experienced it, it's basically a digital world you can walk around in. Although everyone around me was thrilled and inspired by the experience, I was disappointed. I was so disappointed that I actually became mad. For me the experience was amateur hour in comparison to what game developers have done with the same equipment and technology. 
Artnet claimed, "it's so cool", was proclaimed by almost every "Ritter" ( a term used for those using the Oculus). But for me, Mangrané didn't make art, me made a demo, and not a very good demo. He used the hype of the technology to hide just how mediocre his piece actually was. As a gamer, I have been exposed to not only the impressive and deep worlds created by game developers but also their simple and brilliant demos. If the Oculus Rift company had wanted to have a public viewing of their new technology and expose it to non-gamers maybe they should have chosen a game developer who understands how to use the technology to its fullest. Steegmann Mangrané only touched on the possibilities of the technology. 


  1. Just one typo that is important to correct since it is the crux of your argument: *he made a demo

  2. Hi Rachel,

    This is a very critical review on Mangrané's work. It is very good comparison with the experience you had in Mangrané's work and your experience as a game player. I strongly agree that Art shouldn't only rely on using technology and offering some certain experiences. Art should have one step further interns of thinking and producing. About the work, I might want to know more about the work as a whole. For example you have mentioned about in our class that maybe the viewer see the work can be part of the work as well. How the installation displays? How the viewer walking in the center of the work, also been seen by the others.

    Well done!