From speculative realism to augmented reality, the 14th annual York University Art History Graduate Student Symposium Imagined Worlds explored the artistic community’s reaction to the virtualization of our world and the tangible outcomes of that process. While the event took place Feb. 27, the ideas presented come to life again in a special issue of KAPSULA magazine, released June 15. KAPSULA is a monthly digital publication.
Mirroring the title of “Imagined Worlds”, the online magazine features interviews, papers and artworks associated with the symposium.
The symposium was co-chaired by Jen MacDonald, whose area of interest is Canadian contemporary art, and Stella Melchiori, who focuses on contemporary Asian art. Both researchers are newly-minted York alumni, having just graduated with an MA in Art History.
“Jen [MacDonald] and I are extremely pleased with the translation of the conference into this special issue of KAPSULA,” said Melchiori. We provided content, including some of the images, but the publication was designed entirely by the magazine, and we think they did a tremendous job. And editor Lindsay Leblanc’s contribution to the prologue, titled “Notes on the Index (After Rosalind Kraus)” is one of our favourite parts of the publication.”
For KAPSULA, MacDonald interviews Montreal based image-maker Andreas Rutkauskas on his Virtually There project, a photo, artist book and video installation. To create the project, Rutkauskas took virtual trips and captured images with Google Earth software, and then re-enacted these explorations in person, recording the same views with a large-format camera.
Melchiori contributes a translation of a conversation she shared with University of British Columbia graduate student Michelle Weinstein about two of Weinstein’s works: Fourth, a series of drawings which endeavours to make concrete the concept of 4D, and Mars Pamphleteer, a stop-motion video faking a Mars landing. Both artworks were featured at the symposium.
David Hou, a graduate student at McMaster University, writes about narrative evolution in video games, specifically exploring the multi-player Twitch Plays Pokemon, a global phenomenon where online gamers collectively play a single game of Pokemon by typing commands into chat and a random number generator picks which move to make.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Masters of Architecture candidate Zachary Angels explores an emerging trend in young architectural firms to create a myth as a starting point to generate their design proposal, and to provide a narrative to skew the perception of the architectural object.
Other highlights include alternative storytelling by Montreal-based visual artist Anna Jane McIntyre; an essay on photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto’s Dioramas series by Vanessa Fleet, a doctoral candidate in Art History and Visual Culture at York University; and Telenemesis, a photo and text collage by conceptual artist and York Visual Arts alumnus Miles Forrester (BFA ‘13).
KAPSULA magazine is an entirely digital publication dedicated to evaluative and experimental art writing, run entirely pro bono. To receive this issue, click here to sign up for a free subscription.