Areca Roe, Founder Effect

Art(ists) On the Verge 9

RSVP for both events here

Developed and produced by Northern, AOV9 is an intensive, mentor-based fellowship program for five Minnesota-based, emerging artists working experimentally at the intersection of art, technology, and digital culture.

In keeping with RAC’s move to show more interdisciplinary approaches to visual art and culture, we are excited to bring this cutting edge art and technology group to Rochester audiences. In this exhibition art does not sit on the walls but is activated by the viewer. Across all five installations, each one is interactive, immersive, and requires the viewer to engage in order to function as an artwork. The range of technology deployed in the artworks is truly comprehensive, from one artwork which has 20 iPads, to another enabled by motion sensors, and one using immersive VR machines. One artwork even uses a heat-seeking camera with a camouflage quilt for viewers to disappear within.

Art(ists) on the Verge is an annual exhibition and program that mentors artists to introduce more technology into their art practice in order to foster greater engagement and viewer participation in their work. It is produced by Northern and codirected by Piotr Szychalski and Steve Dietz. RAC and Northern Lights are very excited to share this innovative work with Southeastern Minnesota.

“In many ways, we are all on the verge—of the next breakthrough, of the next calamity, of the next tweet. But these installations, for all their futuristic components, are an invitation to stop and experience the present moment, bodily: through sight, sound, smell, and touch.” – Russ White, AOV9 Catalogue

More info about the art installations and the artists below:


The installation Mind the Harvest, by Meena Mangalvedhekar, is a “farm” of networked screens and explores intercropping as a means to increase the diversity and nutritional content of the social media we produce and consume as farmers in the digital ecosystem. Our actions today have consequences that may not be clear for generations. She invites viewers to add their own diverse content to the crop of the twenty iPads growing in the gallery.

Stephanie Lynn Rogers’s Security Blanket offers options to opt out of our surveillance heavy society. Viewers can take cover under a handmade, camouflage design quilt in front of their image taken by a heat-seeking camera, or sit at the work table and make a copper fabric pouch to block the tracking device on your phone. In an age of social media self-surveillance and continued government overreach, what is the role of privacy and what does it mean to feel safe?

Hop aboard Smarter City 2 by Ziyang Wu, a phantasmagoric interactive video installation of a future 洛杉京 Los Jing (LA–Beijing) subway stop, and meet a cast of outlandish straphangers. The data behind their shiny exteriors reveal the multitude of ways that the virtual world and data increasingly influence human consciousness.

With Founder Effect, Areca Roe has created an immersive, 360° video field guide in VR machines to a future that imagines—with both the wonder of discovery and a sickening horror of recognition—evolutionary adaptations animals might have developed in response to climate change, pollution and deforestation.

Maxwell Hoagland’s The Shallows is a sophisticated-acting, primitive-looking machine that lays bare such “choices” in an infinitely accumulating data field that we give over our own personal data to that is not owned or controlled by us but increasingly define our world. We must ask why.

The Art(ists) on the Verge fellowship for emerging artists is supported by the Jerome Foundation.