Avant garde: Digital art not poles apart

For people who are often disturbed by the way modern technology shrinks and distorts our world, here’s an exhibit that will really creep you out. The Fayerweather Gallery is currently packed to the gills with digital artwork– all student work and much of it the result of collaborations between UVA students and art students from Poland. 
In perhaps a reflection of how new technology, particularly digital technology, allows us to share more and more of our lives, much of the work on display often uses personal details as raw material. Virginian Margaret Vest and her Polish counterpart, Jerzy Grabowski, provide a 360-degree view of their bedrooms in a series of digital photographs that are not only presented next to one another, but also digitally superimposed over one another. 
A few other students have chosen to use their own image in their work, sometimes with altered color schemes or, just as often, presented in a row at slightly different angles, a modern aesthetic choice which probably has something to do with computer modeling. 
And even when collaboration failed, as was the case with Sara Lovette and her Pole, Tomasz Szczepanik, something came out of it. Lovette and Szczpanik could not seem to communicate anything about their potential project, and so Lovette opted to exhibit instead a series of emails sent between them, in Polish, English, and in various states and stages of translation. The very details of their electronic failure to communicate become the artwork.
The cohabitation of sophisticated and crude technology, high tech and low tech, is another theme that runs through this exhibit. In among the painted plywood and picture-disc projecters is the work of Samir Roy.
Though he is a computer student rather than an art student, Roy’s work certainly belongs in the exhibit. Roy has been creating a computer program that models style. He asks artists to shade a circle any way they wish, and his computer program then creates an image of something in that style– or in this case, in the shape of bunnies. The work the computer creates is rough, but the idea of a program like this is very exciting.
“Panorama” closes April 11 with a video projection and lecture by Polish artist-in-residence and show co-coordinator Artur Tajber, at 3:30pm in Room 160 of Campbell Hall.

Art students from UVA and the Fine Arts Academy in Krakow, Poland collaborate on “Panorama,” an exhibition of digital art, through April 11 at the Fayerweather Gallery. Rugby Road. 924-6138.