*For Immediate Release*

"Dystopia + Identity in the Age of Global Communications"
Curated by Cristine Wang (Director, New Media Initiatives, Alternative Museum)

Opening Reception: Saturday Dec. 2 (6-9pm)
Tribes Gallery 285 East Third Street, NY
Dec. 2, 2000-Jan. 13, 2001

"Machines will lead to a new order both of work and of leisure"

--Le Corbusier, Vers une Architecture (1923)

Artists at the beginning of the 20th century sought to work in hybrid forms, as a socially-oriented movement, a utopian vision which embodied the idealism of a new order, believing itself capable of changing, reforming, reordering--totally changing all aspects of human life. They embraced the notion of the all-encompassing role of art: the profound belief in the ability of art to affect change.

Almost one hundred years later, into the new millenium, we have seen the effects of this utopian vision: the failure of modernism and its various permutations on a global basis.

At the dawn of the new millenium, what are the new paradigms for living in this Age of Global Communications? We see that in the work of Betty Beaumont, for instance, in her "Ocean Landmark Project" (1978-1980), located 40 miles beyond New York Harbor, that here is a prototype for sustainable living. It is itself, both an underwater sculpture on a massive scale: 500 tons of an industrial waste product made of processed coal-waste, a potential pollutant that has undergone a planned transformation into a flourishing ecosystem: a poetic vision 70 feet below the surface, on the floor of the Atlantic Continental Shelf. Contrasting with this positive paradigm for inhabitation or regeneration in the world's oceans, Cristoph Draeger offers us his catastrophic vision in his video "Oil" (1998). Utilising found footage of the world's oil spill disasters, he comments upon the way in which we easily forget the question of technological failure, deconstructing our concept of reality as mediated by the news media, hollywood, and other sources of stimuli in the global media-saturated village.

"At the end of the 20th century, catastrophe has not become a paradigm of world experience, but rather, because of its ubiquity in the media, the definitive image of "accelerating standstill" (--Paul Virilio). The magnitude of a catastrophe is no longer measured by the number of its victims, but rather by its medial valuation and resulting telepresence--whose impressive images present us with horror as an aesthetic experience."

--Dirk Blubaum, The Security of Risk

Cristine Wang 2000

Participating Artists in the Gallery + Online Exhibitions include:

Mark Amerika, Daniel Garcia Andujar, Zhao Bandi, Betty Beaumont, Mike Bidlo, Natalie Bookchin, Heath Bunting, Young-hae Chang, Shu Lea Cheang, Mariah Corrigan + Jonathan Herder, Critical Art Ensemble, Andy Deck, Ricardo Dominguez, Christoph Draeger, Laura Emrick, Fakeshop, Peter Fend, Zhang Ga, Joy Garnett, Leam Gilliam, Rick Globus, Ken Goldberg, Marina Grzinic, GH Hovagimyan, Fran Ilich, Eduardo Kac, Yael Kanarek, Olga Kisseleva, Tina LaPorta, Patrick Lichty, Mark Lombardi, Diane Ludin, Jenny Marketou, Hilary Maslon, Jennifer + Kevin McCoy, Emil Memon, Zhu Ming, MTAA, Mark Napier, Carsten Nicolai, Eamon O'Kane, Roxy Paine, Cary Peppermint, Wang Qingsong, Francesca da Rimini, Willoughby Sharp, Jeremy Stenger, Zhou Tiehai, and Gu Wenda.

For more information:
(212) 674-3778
(917) 318-0081