NO ANSWERS? (2011)
Rhizome Curated Exhibition by lmvargas
As users of technology, we are constantly bombarded with information… with more information, more complex questions are raised… with more complex and contentious questions, it becomes harder and harder to come up with answers. Ironically, the mass availability of information has led us to infinite answers… in other words, no answers at all. Instead of posing a question which challenges the general perspective, these projects reveal that in the era of information-overload… meanings, truths, social norms, and answers are only getting more complicated and warped. Definitive answers to philosophical, social queries are getting more and more difficult to produce. In this technological “baby-boom” of ten-point-oh and rising, such answers remain at a one-point-oh and declining. These five projects de-familiarize the “normal” and subtly force viewers to re-consider perspectives on an array of social and philosophical matters. “Because Why” is a hypertext that consists of two pages with words “because” and “why.” Clicking on one word hyperlinks to the other word on the other page. It simply goes back and forth between “because” and “why.” This project forces the “clicker” to contemplate the simple logic behind Q&A. The clicking is endless; the answer is never attained. Similar to the “chicken and egg” conundrum, this interactive project suggests the indeterminacy of meaning. “Deconstructing Gender” is a self-explanatory, interactive quiz that has the viewer answer questions about gender; “What exactly is gender?” Instead of producing a final “result” of some sort, the quiz bombards the player with indefinite questions that in no way helps the reader determine the gender of the “interactive person” in question. In the end, there is no true answer, and forces the viewer to consider the social constructs that “form” gender in society. This project reveals the undefinable nature of gender. “Irrepairable Damage” defamiliarizes time and asks “what is time, what is age?” The passage of time is shown bluntly with a computer ticking-clock, revealing a cold, stern perspective of aging. This forces the viewer to examine his/her conception of time; the ticking seconds almost sarcastically suggest that age cannot possibly be determined by growing numbers. Complex questions surrounding age, wisdom, and the meaning of life are far beyond the reach of plain numbers counting up to death. “I Wanted to See All of the News From Today” reveals how the viewer digests current events and information through media. The page shows thumbnail-frontpages of newspapers from all over the world… begging the question “What is information, what is the right information?” The exaggerated layout of hundreds of newspapers portrays the unlimited array of information made available on a daily, minutely basis. There are so many options to choose from… so many perspectives… so many opinions, so many different types of information, that the one, true answer is impossible to reach. “Survey of Common Sense” is a sarcastic, interactive quiz that asks people complicated “yes or no” questions about society: “What is common sense?” However, there is absolutely nothing “common” about this “sense” of social issues. This project presents infinite possible back-and-forth, “yes AND no” answers to the questions. The viewer is forced to consider the infinite perspectives within social issues.