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STATION MUSEUM’S COLLECTIVE REACTION

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By Raquel Perez
Years ago, the ever lustrous Einstein had predicted what he called the information bomb — what he described as mass reactions to events exacerbated by the instantaneous dissemination of technology and media. Like watching this bomb in slow motion, an art show seeks to suspend this idea for awe-driven looking. This Sunday, March 16th, The Station Museum of Contemporary Art procures a selection of technologically and media driven artworks by a globally diverse group of artists provoking inquiry into the subjects of media and various political and humanity influenced messages.Station’s Collective Reaction exhibit reflects one aspect of the museum’s mission to represent international and politically engaging works. Each artist transposes his understanding and experiences into these pieces, which range from video installations to sculptures.Democracia is a Madrid-based collective that infuses Latin American political messages in their performance and video art. They will host their video installation called “Welfare State: Smash the Ghetto”, which streams a line of images of the destruction of a shantytown, El Slobral, in the outskirts of Spain. Akin to the televised destruction of the Berlin Wall, the civilians are served this program as a celebratory media event.

Love is a confusing thing, and media can prove to especially muddle the soul as is demonstrated by Adel Abidin’s “Three Love Songs”. His piece “Three Love Songs” entertains audiences with the sultry performance of love songs in Arabic — the subtitles unmask the eerie lyrics as odes to the regime of Saddam Hussein, songs he commissioned himself.

The military has developed many tactics of control, especially with the onslaught of improved technology. Applying his highly revered technical finesse, artist Hito Steyerl has composed a very serious video installation, “How Not To Be Seen: A Fucking Didactic Educational .MOV File,” which was first exhibited at the 55th Venice Biennale. It is an amalgamation of colorful visuals and dancing digital characters, but points to the more serious provocation of a constantly supervised world.

Mohammed Al-Shammarey bases much of his artwork on his difficult experiences as an Iraqi citizen but points to the injustice many in his country have experienced as well. His photographic works and his video work, “Chess”, will be on display.

Houston artist Prince Varughese Thomas will be exhibiting video and two dimensional works which fuse ideas of journalism and mass media with technology. His various pieces question the voice of the media and its slights towards various poles of power thereby influencing the audience’s mind.

Maura Sheehan, based out of New York, will be building a site-specific sculptural installation — “Architecture Under the Influence” — which will generate a “collaborative cultural ecology.”

Rounding out the ideas of the show, Steve Staso’s films will rally the corroboration of technology and politics by displaying a collection of images from activist movements around the world.

Like a post rider speeding through optical fiber cables, news and events travel instantaneously, which can bring positive aspects but, as demonstrated by these works, also raise many issues of media biases, inflections and personal identity.

The Station Museum of Contemporary’s opening reception will be on Sunday, March 16, 2014, from 3pm - 7pm with music and refreshments.