Arts & CultureCampus & CityCultural Affairs

DY3CORPIA exhibit explores relationships of the body and technology

DY3CORPIA delivers two "floors" of artist content, all centred around themes of technology and the body, justice, and aesthetics.

DY3CORPIA is a fully interactive and navigable online exhibit, exploring various relationships between the body and technology.

The Dyscorpia series of exhibitions began in 2019, originally hosted in the Enterprise Square Galleries. It was held in person in its first iteration in 2019, and moved to the Dyscorpia website in 2020 after the COVID-19 pandemic hit Edmonton hard. For this third installation to the series, DY3CORPIA is a fully interactive gallery, accessible online

DY3CORPIA has two “floors” in its exhibition space to accommodate the number of artist submissions received. It is a replica of the real-life Enterprise Square Galleries.

Work from international, national, as well as local artists are featured in the exhibit. There are also many U of A undergraduate and graduate students in the show. The exhibition was curated and produced by Marilène Oliver, who is an assistant professor in printmaking and intermedia at the U of A.

DY3CORPIA was also curated with the help of Carly Whitaker. Whitaker, who is based in Johannesburg South Africa, works with The Mixed Realities Workshop (TMRW) Johannesburg.

Oliver explained that the second installation of the Dyscorpia series, Dyscorpia 2.1, focused around themes within the COVID-19 pandemic, such as “COVID-19 isolation, the lockdown, the fear of the virus, plus all the new ways of interacting with people.”

However, DY3CORPIA focuses on themes relating to the body in technology, because we have been around technology for so long because of the pandemic.

“I would say that we’re one year into the pandemic but we’re also one year into this whole new digital world, this online world,” Oliver said. “We’ve all been online so much … it’s more natural to do this than anything else.”

She explains that the realistic interactive gallery is meant to give the viewer a sense of unease as an extension to the exhibit’s theme on the effect of technology on our own bodies.

“[The gallery] would have this weird uncanny feeling: am I in a real gallery, is this real, was this real, what is real, where is the real exhibition experience, and where is the artwork experience?”

Along with the theme of technology and the body in social media, the exhibit explores topics like the role of technology in social justice and equity. There are several works that delve deeper into the aesthetics of the glitch, digital objects, and digital communication platforms. 

“We wanted to address something that hasn’t really been the focus of previous Dyscorpias, … how social injustice and political issues are so wound into ‘who gets access to technology,’ ‘who gets to profit from [technology]’ and ‘who is repressed by [technology],’” Oliver said. “We wanted to have that as a big focus of DY3CORPIA.”

With a lineup of over 50 artists, DY3CORPIA is an experience not meant to be missed. If you’d prefer to sit back and watch a walkthrough of the gallery, or if your technology is not optimized to navigate the exhibit, there is also a video walkthrough, done by Joshua James Tokarsky. 

The exhibit is free to view, and as the gallery is being held on its own domain, Oliver assures the virtual exhibit will be up “indefinitely, until [Oliver decides] not to pay for the subscription anymore.” 

DY3CORPIA is a unique and accessible virtual gallery experience that highlights the effects technology has on ourselves; it may be a welcome shock to see these realities presented for those of us who have been glued to our screens for over a year. 

Jin He

Jin is a Deputy Arts and Culture Editor at the Gateway. If not sleeping, she can often be found supporting local artisans and sporting some wicked earrings.

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