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  • Grace Novak

2017: A Year of Creative Realization


January 7th was my first snowstorm of my time living here in Brooklyn, New York. It was cold, punishing, wet and beautiful. It was also really hard to see in trudging through it with my boyfriend as we made our way to the Whitney Museum to see the immersive art show "Dreamlands".


I don't exactly see myself as an "art critic" really even when it comes to movies. Maybe I feel I don't have enough information, knowledge, or background in it to have the confidence to say "this is good" and "this is bad", but I think everyone has the right to judge whether a movie, art exhibit, book, whatever, is something that works for them or not.

With that in mind, I am hoping 2017 can be a year for me where I discover more about my own creativity, preferences in art, and the kind of values I want to instill in my own video or media work. Before the end of December, I was able to sign up for multiple museum memberships across the city (and for free with the help of IDNYC) and will definitely be taking advantage of this throughout the year. While I don't have a membership to the Whitney, "Dreamlands" was an exhibit mentioned in my integrative media class last semester and something I had an interest in.


Using the space of the whole floor, pieces using visual media, interactive experiences and film by over 30 different artists enveloped you. It was overwhelming to walk throughout as there was a new thing begging for your attention every couple of steps. Surprisingly, despite the snow storm raging outside (ok, maybe I'm being dramatic, I'm not the biggest fan of snow) there was a significant crowd throughout the exhibit.

Something that resonated with me as I walked throughout the exhibit was the mixed feelings of a show that was both succeeding in speaking to the digital generation and failing. There was a lack of virtual reality, 360 videos, new advances in film, video, and gaming that I felt would have been more at home here in "Dreamlands" than anywhere else.


Some of the cooler pieces that caught my attention were "Factory of the Sun" by Hito Steyerl - the cool Tron-like room in the picture above - and "Parabiosis: neurolibidinal induction complex" by Andrea Crespo. The first, as mentioned, took place in a dark room emanating blue light drawn in a grid pattern which made you feel like you were in a game or a virtual world. The video shown inside was confusing at first, but suddenly very poignant.

Both pieces integrated elements of an internet culture that feels like my own: deviantart.com, anime girls, Metal Gear Solid, the theme from Lavender Town in the first Pokemon game, an image of a Gameboy drawn in hypnotic white light. It was the first time I've been to an art exhibit and felt a connection that drew from the kinds of media that influence me more than anything classical portraits of well-dressed English figures could ever do for my inspiration.

As 2017 continues, I plan on using a lot of my free time to visit exhibits like these and others as I'm still looking for a better understanding of what influences and inspires my own style and work.

#brooklyn #winter2017