Status Update

April 29 to August 1, 2009

Kevin Van Aelst

Status Update, an exhibition that explores the use of emerging social networking technologies, featuring works by Kevin Van Aelst, Cat Balco, Sharon Butler, Heather Freeman, Greg Garvey, Matt Held, Keith Johnson, Katie Ring, Jeremiah Teipen, Lee Walton, Rachel Perry Welty and An Xiao. Curated by Debbie Hesse and Donna Ruff

Artists’ reception: Thursday, May 14, 5-7 pm; panel discussion at 5 pm

As part of the May 14 artists’ reception for Status Update, Sharon Butler (Two Coats of Paint) has organized what is sure to be a compelling panel discussion featuring Matt Held, Paddy Johnson, Sharon Kleinman (editor of Displacing Place: Mobile Communication in the Twenty-first Century), and An Xiao.

The panel discussion will take place on Thursday, May 14, at 5pm, as part of the artists’ reception for Status Update.

Butler, who organized the panel discussion, is an associate professor in Eastern Connecticut State University’s Department of Visual Arts, and maintains the art blog Two Coats of Paint. Butler says online social networks such as Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter represent a “new undefined territory in the art community.”

Rachel Perry Welty

Matt Held’s Facebook group, “I’ll have my Facebook portrait painted by Matt Held,” has more than 3,000 members, each of whom hopes to have his or her portrait painted as part of a collection of 200 works.

Paddy Johnson is a Brooklyn-based writer whose work has been published in numerous art journals in this country and abroad. Her blog, artfagcity.com, has been linked to by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and New York Magazine, among others.

Sharon Kleinman, a professor of communications at Quinnipiac University, earned her B.A. degree in English and American literature from Brandeis University and her M.S. and Ph.D. in communication from Cornell University. She is the editor of Displacing Place: Mobile Communication in the Twenty-first Century (2007, Peter Lang Publishing).

An Xiao is a conceptual artist who uses online social networks as her medium. The Guardian’s (London) Ruth Jamieson recently included her in a “who’s who” of the Twitter art world alongside Yoko Ono, the Brooklyn Museum, and the Tate.

 

The Arts Council of Greater New Haven, in collaboration with Haskins Laboratories, presents Status Update at Haskins Laboratories, 300 George St., 9th floor, New Haven. This exhibition will be on display from April 29 to August 1, 2009. Regular viewing hours are Wednesday through Friday, 10 am to 4 pm. An artists’ reception is scheduled for Thursday, May 14, from 5 to 7 pm, with a panel discussion at 5 pm. The public is invited to attend.

Curated by Debbie Hesse and Donna Ruff, Status Update explores the use of emerging social networking technologies in art. Featured artists include Kevin Van Aelst, Cat Balco, Sharon Butler, Heather Freeman, Greg Garvey, Matt Held, Keith Johnson, Katie Ring, Jeremiah Teipen, Lee Walton, Rachel Perry Welty, and An Xiao. Social networking platforms such as Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter offer artists unique forums for communication and expression.

Philip Rubin, chief executive officer and senior scientist at Haskins Laboratories, a nonprofit research institute that studies speech, reading, and related technologies, talked about the connection between the research conducted at Haskins Laboratories and Status Update.

“One area of interest to us is … literacy in a digital age,” Rubin said.

Haskins Laboratories, Rubin said, has always been interested in what exists at the intersection of human communication, literacy, and technology. With funding from The Teagle Foundation, Rubin said, Haskins Laboratories is developing plans for a project that will explore the impact of social networking tools, technologies, and practices such as Facebook, hand-held devices, and text messaging on how we read and whether or not the act of reading has changed.

 

Exhibitions are presented by the Arts Council, in collaboration with Haskins Laboratories, an independent, international, multidisciplinary community of researchers conducting basic research on spoken and written language. Exchanging ideas, fostering collaborations and forging partnerships across the sciences, Haskins Laboratories produces groundbreaking research that enhances our understanding of — and reveals ways to improve or remediate — speech perception and production, reading and reading disabilities, and human communication.

If you would like to be considered for an exhibition at Haskins Laboratories, please send images, résumé and bio to: Arts Council of Greater New Haven, 70 Audubon St., New Haven, CT 06510. For more information, call Debbie Hesse at 203-772-2788 or send e-mail to dhesse@newhavenarts.org.