DIGITAL MONSTERS is a hybrid digital/offsite exhibition taking place within an out-of-use baptist summer camp in rural Mississippi. Each artist used some form of digital intervention to “place” their work into the various locations across the camp. These locations were decided by a Digimon virtual pet toy that alerts the player with a game after so many steps have taken place. The new mixed reality blurs the line between the work itself and the documentation of the work online and examines aspects of the portal fantasy in the post covid internet age.
In the age of television, we saw a rise in portal fantasies in the form of commercials. One such example is Digimon. In Digimon, we have a group of children on their way to a summer camp who accidentally find themselves transported into the digital world. This Digital world touches on themes of virtual reality, artificial intelligence, metaphysical avatar selves, and many more ideas about our collective future with the advent of new technologies. The various Digimon stand in as contemporary iterations of mythical icons such as dragons, angels, devils, and cowboys. At the same time, Digimon was first and foremost a toy company that sold virtual pets meant to be the “boy Tamagotchi,” and the writers and animators were only hired to create a show to entice children to buy the toys. So what does this mean that our contemporary portal stories are not only digital but commercial as well? How can we now, in the age of the internet, exercise agency in this digital world, activate it with purpose, and keep this friendship with our precious Digital Monsters?
Curated by @nathan_harper_art
Premiered on @solo___show on 31 July 2021