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Connect and Disconnect

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Curated by: Kayla Harriel

(Dis)Connected questions the barriers and benefits of technology in the 21st century while focusing the lens on four emerging themes: Environment, identity, relationships, and language, and how artists consider them in their own practice. While this exhibit will not provide you with direct answers to how technology shapes important factors of our life, it will encourage you to reflect on your personal usage and share your thoughts on how digital trends impact our world.


About (Dis)Connected

As technology evolves, so does our environment and the way we interact with objects and the world around us. Constantly being submerged in technology greatly impacts our perception of society and never allows us to be truly alone. Our daily intake of technology is equivalent to the food we consume and is relied on to get through the day. The quietness and serenity we seek is not only found in silence but also in static and noise. Do portable devices hinder our connection  with the outside world? Has modern technology influenced our society positively?



Our online persona often differs from our lives in “real time”.  Various digital mediums allow us to curate, edit, and delete parts of ourselves, while amplifying our positive attributes and accomplishments. These platforms influence the way we see ourselves, and allows us to filter how others may view us. New identities are often assumed by the what popular culture projects on us and draws a fine line between person and persona. Does your online and offline persona authentically represent who you are? Has unhealthy digital media content encouraged us to change our identities?



Technology helps us reconnect with old friends and create new ones. It has given people the opportunity to find love and has generated a community for those who share a common interest. Technology has allowed us to connect with multiple people at once by sharing status updates, images, or events. However,  reaching numerous people at once eliminates the need to share things with multiple people individually. Physical interaction has suffered due to the instant gratification technology provides.  Is it possible to maintain close relationships without physically seeing someone?  Is technology distracting us from meaningful connections?



Online and verbal language are becoming one in the same. We are able to express emotion with words, emoticons, and memes.  While certain images and acronyms enhance a message, they may also cause confusion or convey a superficial emotion. Laughter has been reduced to an acronym and many people interpret images differently than others. Do these language trends make communication more efficient and exciting or are they reducing meaningful conversation to abbreviations and images?