Connectivity Lost

ORGANIZERS  Cecile and Erza Zilkha Gallery, Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut

DATES  September 10 – December 5, 2010

DESCRIPTION  Connections between the systems that shape our existence are frayed, eroded, even gone. A major shift in our social environment has occurred, removing the direct and instinctual connection with our fellow man and environment. Instead, simple interactions have become complex, awkward, tenuous, requiring mediation and facilitation. Points of interface, of systems coming together, are no longer seamless, but instead have broader environmental and social implications. We may have hundreds of “friends” on FaceBook, yet we are lonely; we have no idea of the origins of the foods we eat; a landscape of parking lots and big-box stores has supplanted rural or agricultural lands; Second Life is as real as real life for many. We have come to rely on, believe in and live in an abstracted, cyber reality and consider it sufficient. Is it? This exhibition identifies a body of work, based on this disconnect, that depicts the ways we are estranged from each other and from the environment in which we live. As issues explored in the exhibition reach across disciplines, programming could involve many departments of the university: environmental studies, social sciences, languages, linguistics, philosophy, economics, art and design, for example. Possible formats for curricular involvement include faculty members writing texts/hand-outs on the subjects addressed in the exhibition; courses built around the exhibition contents; pertinent classes taught in the gallery space; artists brought to campus to meet with students; collaborations with neighboring museums and colleges.

ARTISTS  Daniel Alcalá, Chris Ballantyne, Richard Barnes, Matthew Bryant, Brian Collier, Maria Hedlund, Jason Middlebrook, Matthew Moore,
Lucy+Jorge Orta