Digital Arts MFA Thesis exhibitions featuring Steph Sassine’s “Human(oid);” and Eric Rieper’s “Functional Embrace” Opening reception: Mon, April 14th 5-8PM
BIO: Eric Rieper is an interdisciplinary artist from Brooklyn, NY. His work manifests itself as large scale interactive installations, digitally produced and augmented sculpture, and browser based net-art.
Functional Embrace is a reflection on technology’s ability and intentions to facilitate intimate social interactions. The exhibition features three collections of work that employ those interactions and the surrounding conventions and language of contemporary internet services and digital devices.
Featured in the exhibition are the “Embrace Objects” – a series of reactive sculptures that reveal themselves as you choose to engage with them, “Wake Up With the World” – an alarm clock that generates music based on the GPS coordinates of everyone else waking up at that precise moment, and two collaborative, anonymous web experiences – “itconnects.us” and “h-o-ld.me”
Stephanie Sassine is a Lebanese transmedia artist based in New York. She uses a variety of media ranging from photography and video to physical computing and interactive installations, to make the familiar “unfamiliar”, where darker, more hostile subject matters can be teased out of quotidian routine scenarios.
Stephanie holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Graphic Design with an emphasis in Digital Design from the Lebanese American University in Beirut, Lebanon. Her never-quenching appetite for learning droveher to pursue a Master in Fine Arts in Digital Arts at Pratt Institute, focusing on interactive arts, a specialty that lets her learn new technologies and set herself new challenges every day.
“How do you know I’m mad?””You must be, or you wouldn’t have come here.”(Alice in Wonderland)
“HUMAN(OID);” is a subtle interactive installation that generates an intellectual uncertainty in the participants’ minds, in addition to engaging them to connect with a digital being on an emotional level, be it positively or negatively.The concept is stemmed from our fascination and focus in technology advancement in reaching the uncanny valley. This is publicly showcased in the next-gen characters in 3D movies and games, humanoid robots, hologram projections, and the list goes on. It seems like our goal has been, for decades,to digitally create something that is “as human looking” as possible. They even made movies about it, the latest to date being “Her” (2013) by director Spike Jonze. This obsession of God-defying digital procreation is today reaching successful results, so successful that they are bluntly creepy, since residing in the uncanny valley.The installation acts like a subtle highly interactive augmented reality piece, where the virtual male character (modeled after the artist’s female face) will seemingly invade and roam the gallery, while interacting with participants through gestures.
Exhibition Opening: April 7th from 5pm – 8pm
On View: April 8th – 11th
Children’s Utopia by Xiaohan Han
Xiaonan is an interactive and illustration artist. She finished her undergraduate school in Capital
Normal University and is currently a graduate student at Pratt Institute. Many of her projects are
related to self recognition. She also interested in children centered design work.
Children’s Utopia is a project with the theme of interaction, to express a new experience of
communication via the tangible medium of color cubes that endow the abstract elements of
naive and engaging components. It allows people to see what my childhood looks like as they
pick up one of the cubes on the desk and put it close to another, begetting an animation on the
table. Ancient Chinese naive materialists think everything is made up of the movement and
changes of five basic elements(metal, wood, water, fire and soil) which can transform into each
other. There are five important elements in my life: memory, hope, love, belief, and dreams. The
five elements have their own characteristics and they can influence each other. This allows me
to rethink what my life looks like. When visitors interact the cubes together, it’s as if they create
something and concurrently gain an insight into my life.
Here Is Not Here Was by Xi Jiang
Xi Jiang is a digital artist who creates physical installations, motion graphics,
photography works and digital images. She currently concentrates in creating
installations by physical materials and digital arts. Most of her works are related to selfexplorations
and social issues.
Xi Jiang came from Beijing, China. After earning her BFA in Digital Media Art at
Communication University of China in 2012, She moved to Brooklyn, New York for
further education in art. Xi Jiang is currently a MFA candidate who is focusing on digital
imaging in Digital Art Department at Pratt Institute.
Here Is Not Here Was is a 9 feet high, 9 feet wide and 12 feet deep environmental
installation, which combines digital projection and physical materials. By building
collages with multiple layers of drapery, and digital projections based on artist’s
emotional experiences in New York City, provided to viewers a virtual journey.
Artist’s mentality is flowing as a river, narratively and dramatically. Here Is Not
Here Was concludes artist’s chronological emotional track related to New York City. It
can be divided into six turning points: Excitement, Disappointment, Freshness,
Frustration, Adjustment and reluctance. The installation shapes these periods between the
six turning points and builds an environment by using different materials and mediums.
The elements of these materials convey the moods by colors, shapes, textures, and
patterns. The winding shape of the curtain like fabric collage builds a route for viewers to
A Digital Arts Pratt MFA Thesis Exhibition
Façade is a time based installation of a 1/6 scale brownstone which incorporates 3D printing, animations, sound, imaging and vinyl application.
All of the components describe the homeowner’s hidden depression which leads to suicidal thoughts and cyclical behavioral patterns.
Saturday, April 5th, 7pm-11pm
April 6th-10th, 12pm-6pm
T R A N S F E R
Brooklyn, NY 11211
Wenjin “Amy” Yang- BIO
Amy is currently an MFA candidate, focusing on Interactive Art, in the Department of Digital Arts at Pratt Institute. She got her BA in Digital Arts at Communication University of China’s, Nanjing.
Now, she interests in the relationship between human and interactive projects, UX/UI design. After experimenting with multiple digital art media, she decided to further her studies in HCI.
“Due to the one child only policy in China, I am the core part of my family. I didn’t know anything about SHARE and why I have to share when I was a kid, basically I get whatever I want. The feelings I have is affected by my family.
Everybody should realize that each of us has this kind of power to affect people. In this project, I want to express that we should cherish people who are always around us to support us. But we should also know that sometimes, no matter how hard we try, we have to let something go. We can’t fight against a lot of things, like death. So when that happened, all we can do is move forward and make new relationships.”
Meng Chen- BIO
MengChen is a Chinese digital artist based in New York City. She earned her bachelor degree in Visual Communication Design from Tsinghua University in China. Currently, She is pursuing a Master of Fine Arts degree in interactive arts at Pratt Institute.
“People always question the meaning of life. we strive to find a right answer on ourselves but rarely to seek for it from outside world that besides human beings. An integrated lifecycle of tiny organism and a world of creature could tell us life meaning. One and Group is an interactive installation consists of groups of virtual creatures in separate transparent wares. By walking through those wares, participants interact with virtual creatures and witness their life cycles from infancy to death and their process of reproduction and death threats from other species.”
Exhibition Opening: 3/31 from 5pm – 8pm
Exhibition runs from 4/1 – 4/4
MFA Thesis Exhibitions
Lu Ke - “The Diary” and Jieyu Xiong – “Crowded”
Opening: Mon, Mar 25th, 5-8pm
On View: Tue, Mar 26th – Fri, Mar 28th
Lu Ke currently resides in Brooklyn NY. She interests in traditional painting and digital art. She experiments different ways to
combine traditional and digital art together to create inspiring work.
After earning her BFA in Animation at China Academy of Art in 2009, Lu moved to Brooklyn, New York to continue her pursuits
in the arts. Lu is currently an MFA candidate, focusing on Digital Imaging, in the Department of Digital Arts at Pratt Institute.
Humans are of course not the only species on this planet. Fairies, as another possible species have lived in people’s imagination
for a very long time. I am fascinated by these tiny creatures and always hope they can appear at the corner of the street, hide
behind a flower or stealthily walk across my table. Thus, in this project I decide to tell a story of them.
The Diary is a body of work about a diary that belongs to a fairy, O. It consists of two physical diary books. One is a tiny diary
book (1” x 2”) of O’s and another is an enlarged version of this book (60” x 88”). In this diary book, O records the details of her
daily life and every change of her emotion and attitude towards life and relationships. The whole book contains writing, collage,
hand drawing, photograph,3D modeling and digital painting. Every page in the book is trying to convince viewers of her existence
and offer an opportunity to visit this secret world.
Jieyu Xiong is a digital artist who interested in motion graphics, game design, digital illustration and UI design. She finished her BFA in Sun Yat- sen University and currently is MFA candidate, focusing on digital art in Pratt Institute. Through the creation of artworks that explore the absurdity and surrealism, she meant to reveal and make commentary to the modern reality.
Crowded provides a space, which looks empty, but is full of heavy emotions. There are 5 moveable characters hiding behind the walls. Looking through peepholes on the walls is the only way to reach them. Each character is the reflection of vulnerable people. They are terrifying, strange, wired and desperate so that they have to hide themselves. Crowded welcomes viewers to explore in the gallery space and connect themselves with characters in the show. It also implies that our world is far more complicated than what we see.
Li is an interactive artist who creates many interactive installations, applications and web arts. She grew up in China, finished her undergraduate school in Osaka Japan and is currently a graduate student in New York, US. Because of herself’s experience, many of her projects are related to long-distance communication and mixed language. She pays extra attention on the balance of function and aesthetics and welcomes her audience to participate her works.
“Distance is a set of wearable interactive installation. 5 hood like projects will move based on distance between the person or mannequin who wears it and any other people. Once a person appears in front of these hoods, they will immediately close and cover its owner’s face. It is an exaggerated expression to address that a person like me who meets a stranger will feel nervous and desire to hide his or her exposed body parts such as face in order to achieve a sense of security. However all hoods still have their own personalities. According to different behaviors of audience, they will gradually cover mannequins’ head in different speed and movement patterns.”
“Behind the Harmony is an installation of an indoor scene to express my dissatisfaction with some safety decision is of Chinese government which reflect in aspects of individual censorship and information control. The installation shows a corner of my room in my imagination, where walls, floor and furniture are covered over with patterns that indicate conflicts between information control and my struggle for freedom of speech.
The word “harmony” refers to a concept named Socialist Harmonious Society in China, which is a socio-economic vision that is said to be the result of Chinese leader Hu Jintao’s signature ideology of the Scientific Development Concept. The concept was a response to the problem of social inequality/wealth gap, which if not dealt immediately, could lead to social unrest and even turmoil.
The word “river crab” sounds similar to the word “harmonious” in Mandarin Chinese and it has been adopted as internet slang in Mainland China in reference to internet censorship.”
Elefterios Benetos | CODE SWITCH
Meredith Cutinello | Personally Profiled: The Daughters of Suburbia
MFA Digital Arts Thesis Exhibition
Opening: Monday, March 3rd from 5-8pm
On view: March 3rd – March 7th, 2014
Eleftherios Gerasimos Benetos:
Eleftherios Gerasimos Benetos is a Greek American artist based in New York City. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree at Stony Brook University with a focus in photography. His work in the last 5 years has ranged from digital painting, illustration and graphic design. Currently, Eleftherios is pursing his Master of Fine Arts in Digital Arts at Pratt Institute.
Code switching is what occurs when a speaker alternates between two or more languages, or language varieties.
Code Switch is a collection of works presented in 6 digital prints. Across the medium there will be a depictions of characters presented with heads replaced by geometric forms, the faces of which represent different aspects of personality in response to sociological and environmental factors.
Personally Profiled: The Daughters of Suburbia
Meredith Cutinello is a young digital artist from Pennsylvania and is now based in New York City. She received her Bachelor of the Arts from Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 2011. In her past work, Meredith has enjoyed integrating different mediums into her digital work such as traditional drawings, digital drawing, and photography. She has been fascinated by the human figure and the psyche, which led her to her current thesis. Currently she is pursuing her Master of the Fine Arts degree in Digital Imaging at Pratt Institute.
Personally Profiled: The Daughters of Suburbia is an installation that documents how females of my generation, including myself, deal with stress in their day to day lives and through their social media outlets. I have specifically chosen white middle class women in order to hone in on issues that they as a group are facing. These portraits are created through the integration of photography and social media identities, which allows us to view the dual sides of each person’s identity. Accompanying each of the printed images are QR codes which are linked to Instagram videos. These videos display each of the subject’s environments and provide the viewer a visual experience into these women’s worlds.
Stress is something that I think everyone can relate to. However, I do not think I have ever experienced its full effects until becoming a graduate student. Its influence is gradual, but as stress builds and builds it becomes more noticeable on the exterior, as your mind and body battle to deal with it. Since I can personally relate to the effects of stress, I thought it was necessary to include a self-portrait in my series, as well as portraits of four other women that I have close relationships with. All of these people have forces in their lives that threaten their livelihood or emotional well being, which undoubtedly produce a significant amount of stress. While these issues may not be all that jarring, they still no doubt take a toll on the human psyche. It was not my hope to create shock and awe type imagery, but instead to create an image that causes you to look more carefully about what is being portrayed and who these women are. The personal relationship I have with these four women is an integral part of my thesis; for it allows them to feel comfortable enough to expose parts of themselves that they keep hidden from the outside world. This factor allowed for me to easily peel back layers in each of their lives and uncover specific stresses that I have documented through photographs, text message conversations and social media identities.
The integration of the social media identity is a very crucial element because it allows the individual, in a way, to have their own hand in the creation of their portraits. Additionally, the contrast between the photographic image and social media identity aids in in the idea of trying to find a balance between the private and public person. I expect the viewer to get a sense of eeriness from these images, but also feel connected to each of these individuals through the realness and vulnerability I have conveyed. In order for the portraits to come full circle, I have also included QR Codes that when scanned connect to Instagram videos of each subject’s environment. These videos will display the environment only, in order for the viewer to see the impact a space can have on a subject and how important it is in the formation of their lives.