A NEW COMMISSION BY RACHEL ROSSIN, THE MAW OF, LAUNCHES ON THE WHITNEY MUSEUM’S ARTPORT
Sept 15 - 18, 2022
Today, the Whitney Museum of American Art launched artist Rachel Rossin’s THE MAW OF, a new digital art project on whitney.org. The work is a transmedia story that unfolds across multiple platforms and formats. It reflects on the coalescence and alterations our bodies and minds experience with technology. THE MAW OF is the latest commission for artport, the Museum’s portal dedicated to Internet art, and an online gallery space for commissions of net art.
Through her work, Rachel Rossin investigates the relationship between bodies and machines, highlighting technology’s evolution from a tool to an extension of the mind and body that affects our existence at profound levels. Rossin highlights that technology, ranging from smartphones to virtual reality headsets, has already permeated our lives and increasingly obscures the divide between humans and machines.
“Rachel Rossin blurs boundaries between digital and physical worlds. Her project THE MAW OF explores technology’s impact on the mind and body and invites viewers to engage with the consequences of our dependence on devices and mediation,” says Christiane Paul, Adjunct Curator of Digital Art at the Whitney.
In THE MAW OF, the central protagonist, an illusory female figure, wanders the digital landscape of interfaces overlaid with codes and symbols related to technological and organic systems. A graph of the nervous system and infrared imagery overlay elements of content on whitney.org, creating a surreal and complex online environment. The work’s augmented reality (AR) component is launched by scanning the QR code on the screen and adds another layer to the experience, expanding the narrative to the viewer’s mobile device. When synced with the browser-based experience, the AR layer presents supplemental textual commentary and transports the story’s leading figure out of the browser window and into the hands of the audience.
From September 15-18, 2022, a site-specific installation of THE MAW OF was presented at Tieranatomisches Theater in Berlin to coincide with Berlin Art Week 2022. Rossin’s installation, composed of sculpture, augmented reality, virtual reality, and net art, addresses the profound consequences of technological evolution and produces a conceptual and visual vocabulary to make this progression palpable.
The web component of THE MAW OF is co-commissioned by the Whitney Museum of American Art and KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, and the project is overseen by Christiane Paul, Adjunct Curator of Digital Art.