By Mackenzie Patterson
Final year new media students will get one more chance to exhibit pieces they’ve been working on since September at META 2014.
The work of the graduating class will be on display at the Burroughes Building on Queen Street West beginning on Thursday, March 20 and ending the following Sunday.
META serves as the new media program’s final exhibition of student work — much of this year’s featured pieces will be interactive, said Stephanie Redmond, editor and sponsorship coordinator for META 2014.
“Some of the pieces are interactive, some aren’t, but all of them are new media, so that sort of means that means that they all have a technological aspect,” said Redmond. “That’s something we really want to show off to people and teach them about.”
Fourth-year student Wesley Chan’s interactive piece Mesmerain uses technology to provide its users with the therapeutic experience of rain in a relaxing environment, with the goal of producing a virtual and spiritual escape from daily stresses, Chan said.
Chan said the process of creating his piece was challenging but rewarding, with lots of trial and error processes, critiques and many exhausting hours spent on campus.
“In fourth year, you’re finally able to transition from a student to an artist, and start communicating and networking,” said Chan. “It’s an exciting experience because you get to show your work not just to professors and classmates but to everyone in the gallery.”
Like Chan, fourth-year student Melissa James also draws inspiration for her work from nature and technology. Her piece Wave is meant to recreate the feeling of being at the cottage, represented by a dock with waves rolling at the end, said James.
“I love being near lakes and oceans, so I tried to capture that feeling in my work,” said James. “It’s about looking at how technology and nature can be compatible with each other as opposed to a clashing force.”
Blending art with technology has taken on increased importance in our rapidly-evolving society, said Redmond.
“I think it’s important to incorporate technology into our art because it’s a big part of the world we live in today,” said Redmond. “Technology is everywhere today and it just allows you to do so many different things with art.”
Redmond said the final stages of preparation for the artists and the team of curators have been hectic, but they’re all excited to show off their work and celebrate.
“We’ve all worked hard and have great things to show, we just want to make sure it all goes smoothly,” said Redmond. “Everyone’s pieces are so unique and different from one another, so it’s going to be exciting to finally put them on display.”