Brutal Realities

The Brutal Realities exhibition was co-curated by TECHNE Founding Director Mark Amerika and Denver-based curator Drew Austin at the Dairy Center for the Arts in Boulder in January and Februrary 2020 just before the arrival of the global coronavirus pandemic. The collection of digital artworks featured in the exhibition expose how contemporary artists confront their shifting nature of reality in digitally mediated culture. This manifests through various artistic mediums but focuses on artists working in the field of new media art. Presented primarily through video, sound, animation, photography, performance, and digital manipulation, the exhibition features artists who have shown their work nationally and internationally, all of whom have developed their work while living in Colorado.

Each artist in the exhibition brings their unique style of manipulating data to form a different approach toward the precarious cultural and political situation we find ourselves in. Some of the artists choose to use humor and post-internet parody to send a direct message, while others use abstraction, movement, and color to evoke an emotion or line of inquiry. Throughout the exhibition, viewers get critical insights into a world mediated through technology. Brutal Realities invites you to question the world around you and rethink what it means to be alive at a time of global climate crisis, cross-generational existential angst, and information overload.

Centered around the University of Colorado Boulder’s TECHNE Lab, the McMahon Gallery features a group exhibition of work from current and former TECHNE Lab faculty, graduate students and staff as well as the partners and instructors that have helped maintain it for nearly 20 years. New work is presented alongside near prophetic work from the past decade, all following a common thread of challenging our perception of reality in a world infused with alternative facts, Deep Fakes, AI bots, and surveillance capitalism.

TECHNE artists participating in the Brutal Realities exhibition include Francoise Duresse, Melanie Clemmons, Zak Loyd, Rick Silva, Nicholas O’Brien Mariana Vieira, Ryan Wurst, Laura Hyunjhee Kim, Jon Satrom and Mark Amerika.

In the summer of 2018, TECHNE Lab faculty and graduate artists held two simultaneous exhibitions in New York City, and this exhibition brings the art back home to Boulder.