PRESS RELEASE — For Immediate Release

*Hi-res JPEGS available upon request. A PDF version is attached to this e-mail.

Virtual Exhibition Empowers Viewers through Virtual Critique

Toronto, Ontario - 01/04/2012

This Winter, an unusual and extremely interactive exhibition promises to breath new life into the inundated space of the World Wide Web. Opening on February 1st, CrossTalk: Speech Acts and Interference in Networked Art is an experimental exhibition format that combines a virtual gallery with a real-time virtual critique. Featuring works of net art (art made on and disseminated through the Net) by Evan Roth, Cynthia Lawson Jaramillo and Dina Kelberman, visitors to the site will be able to view each artist's piece and at the same time participate in a live online discussion about their work via message board. The idea behind this unconventional model is to offer a way for the public to become part of the exhibition process through conversation, and also to provide a way for visitors from many different locations and backgrounds to connect and exchange ideas using art as the centrepiece.

Over the course of three days, February 1st through the 3rd, the public is invited to log on at, view the artworks, register on the message board and participate in an open, unmoderated critique. Registering on the message board for the critique is free, easy and similar to interfaces that the majority of users will already be familiar with. To get the discussion going, an international group of six curators and critics, including former Institute of Contemporary Arts Head of Talks Helena Reckitt and Art Gallery of Ontario contemporary Canadian art curator Michelle Jacques have been invited to post their commentary on the artworks first. After their initial posts, those six curators and critics will stay active in the critique, but as equals to any other participant.

Every person who registers on the board will receive editing privileges, and have the same amount of control as any other person. This is an intentional move by the curator to hand the reigns over to the audience for a change, and to create the conditions for a true democracy amongst visitors. Just like a piece of software, the CrossTalk exhibition model sets up conditions and variables and lets its users determine the final product or outcome.

Lastly, CrossTalk is unique in the way its featured artworks are made. Each of the selected pieces use publicly available content from multiple other users on the Internet to generate how their respective looks. Dina Kelberman's piece I'm Google uses Google's Image Search as a continuously changing and evolving image-bank for constructing a visual poem. Evan Roth's work Banners and Skyscrapers, culls over six hundred images from banner advertisements and collages them together to form a moving fabric of consumerist imagery. And, Cynthia Lawson Jaramillo's piece Tricolor v.2007 rakes Colombian online new sources, building the national flag in text that is laden with nationalist tone and flavour. In these different but related approaches, each work symbolizes a kind of interference in the large flow of culture and communication that the Internet represents. By collecting and reassembling the content of others to create new meanings, Kelberman Roth and Jaramillo turn the usership of the Net into a material itself.

More about the Artists:

Evan Roth (1978) is an established digital media artist and part-time professor at Parsons The New School for Design in New York. His body of work is diverse and often politicized, dealing with issues of authorship, appropriation and public space through a wide range of interrelated media and disciplines, from graffiti and illustrative typography to open source technology and net art. Evan received his bachelor's degree in architecture from the University of Maryland and his MFA from the Communication, Design and Technology school at Parsons The New School for Design. After graduating Evan worked at the esteemed Eyebeam OpenLab as Research and Development Fellow from 2005–2006 and a Senior Fellow from 2006-2007. He was also a 2005 recipient of the grand prize Prix Nora Krea at the Norapolis International Multimedia Festival. Evan permanently resides in Paris with his wife.

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Dina Kelberman (1979) is an American multimedia artist, web designer and playwright who is best known for her comic strips and illustrations serialized in the Baltimore City Paper, on the humour blog Mutant Funnies and on Kelberman's comics are minimal but dynamic, and her characters strangely relatable and yet poignantly misanthropic. This duetting of disparate traits carries over into her net-based artwork where Dina curates the found photography and video of others to create a mapping of her own online-experiences. Dina earned her BFA in 2003 at Purchase College, State University of New York. She continues to live and work in Baltimore, Maryland.

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Cynthia Lawson Jaramillo (1974) is a Brooklyn-based Colombian digital artist, technologist and educator. Her work concentrates on reconfigurations and representations of time and space through media, and has been internationally exhibited and performed, including at Giacobetti Paul Gallery, HERE Arts (NYC), UCLA Hammer Museum (LA) and the Museums of Modern Art in Bogotá and Medellín (Colombia). Cynthia has a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Universidad de los Andes (Bogotá) and a Masters in Interactive Telecommunications (ITP) from New York University. She is currently Assistant Professor of Integrated Design in the School of Design Strategies at Parsons The New School for Design and an active member of Madarts, an arts collective in Brooklyn, NY.

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More about the Curator:

CrossTalk: Speech Acts and Interference in Networked Art is curated, designed and programmed by Zach Pearl. It is the culmination of his thesis work for the anticipated receipt of a Masters of Fine Art in Criticism & Curatorial Practice this Spring from OCAD University. Zach has formal, interdisciplinary training in variety of fine art, performing art and design practices. He came into curating serendipitously through museum education and private gallery positions that served as the bread n' butter of his early twenties. Currently, Zach's curatorial focus is on the intersection between new media, relational aesthetics and community art practices. Accordingly, Zach has worked independently to curate a variety of projects that integrate aspects of each area for a range of venues, including the Gladstone Hotel, the Textile Museum of Canada and the Art Gallery of Ontario. Zach currently lives and works in Toronto, Ontario.