“Difference Machines” exhibition examines the intersection of art and technology


BUFFALO, NY – One of the very first things you’ll see upon entering the Albright-Knox Northland facility these days are two computers set up against a black wall with pink flowers on them. Each machine is under a framed photo of Kanye West.

It’s a game called “Ye or Nay”.

“It’s basically like a digital version of Guess Who or Battleship, where each player is assigned a random character, and your objective is to guess the character of the other person,” said Tina Ryan of the art gallery. Albright-Knox at 2 On Your Side. “The twist is that every character is a black male celebrity, including Kanye West, and there are multiple Kanyes throughout their lives.

The creation is the work of game designer AM Darke, and is part of the Difference machines exhibition now on display at AK Northland. Ryan and Paul Vanouse are the co-commissioners.

“Normally, when you go to an art museum, you can’t expect to see works that move, that change. Who are interactive. These are things you can touch, “Ryan said.” But this show specifically features new media art, that is, art that uses technology, like video technologies, computers, or the Internet. . “

The articles take a closer look at how these technologies have contributed to systematic inequality and social injustices, with an emphasis on empowerment.

“Digital tools actually allow people from marginalized communities to come together. To change the narrative about them, ”explained Ryan. “These two ideas run through the series. Learn about the dangers of technology, but also the promises of technology.

Ryan and Vanouse see the interactive space they created more as a laboratory than a museum.

“It’s kind of a show that you can stick with for a while,” Vanouse said. “Some pieces you can spend 15 minutes with and not go through. It’s also an exhibit that we encourage you to come in and feel somewhere between an art exhibit, a video projection, and the library. We want people to step into the space, to really explore the artwork, and to realize that you can be comfortable here.

Albright-Knox Northland is open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays on a pay-as-you-go basis. You can find out more and sign up for a tour time here.


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