Kathryn Hartog's I Am Outraged was one of the popular interactive installations displayed at Threshold 2014. PHOTO: LEAH HANSEN

Student work featured at new media exhibition

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By: Tina Mgonja

Professors, students and alumni of the new media program gathered at the IMA Gallery Feb. 6 to celebrate student work at the fourth annual new media exhibition, Threshold.

Threshold gives Ryerson’s third-year new media students the opportunity to show their work to the public. The exhibit consisted of several multimedia pieces, most of which were students’ previous projects made for the classroom, said David Bouchard, a Ryerson new media professor and faculty supervisor for the showcase.

“They start to think of their work as something that has a life beyond [the classroom],” he said.

Though the students have Bouchard as a supervisor, he says they work independently to curate and promote the show as they would in a professional setting. Students get the chance to “see the levels of achievement needed for professional practise,” said Steve Daniels, the new media program director.

For most of the students, it is the first opportunity in the new media program for them to show their work to the public, Daniels said.

Around the gallery, artists and show-goers alike were busy participating in the interactive pieces in the showcase. From projected texts to minuscule swing sets, they all had a way to get the audience involved.

“My favourite piece is probably Kathyrn’s. The fact that she challenges people with her art, I think is great,” said Zoe Bockasten, a third-year new media student and one of the show’s contributors.

The piece by Kathryn Hartog, I Am Outraged, is an interactive piece that allows people to spell out words to be projected on the wall. The twist is that no matter what the input, the resulting word projected on the wall will always be negative, reminding us of the unintended consequences of our words in the digital age.

Candice Dias’ piece Emotive Wall, created with Bockasten and Erin Brazeau, also invited audience participation by encouraging guests to send a text message to a given phone number. Their texts were displayed on the wall with a corresponding background colour that represented the emotion of the message.

“The great thing about it is that everyone can talk about what they think of the show,” said Dias. “People are texting silly things, but I think it still brings people together.”

Threshold will be running at the IMA Gallery at 80 Spadina Ave. until March 1.

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