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  • Writer's pictureJason Jenn

The Arcade of Hypermodernity

Updated: 5 days ago

I am excited to share the latest curatorial project and collaboration with Vojislav Radovanović called The Arcade of Hypermodernity for Studio Channel Islands Art Center in Camarillo. We were approached to curate an exhibition with the theme of technology. Having seen the work of several artists we were interested in working with and knowing the exhibition would take place in the summer, we landed on the concept of exploring arcades and amusement centers throughout history through the lens of hypermodernity - mixing both high and low-tech with pleasurable, profound, and provocative commentary on the challenges of our bustling and complicated contemporary existence.

My work for the exhibition Ye Ol' Factory Station (Homage to Sir Joseph Paxton) is a celebration of human technology, purposely existing in the show as an unplugged homage to the arcades, pageantry, and festivities of a bygone era. Sir Joseph Paxton was the gardener turned architect of The Crystal Palace of London's Great Exhibition of 1851, a pivotal moment in the architectural history of arcades.

The base of the work is a giant nose, adored with ribbons and plant materials. Each colored puffball on the artwork has a unique scent, inviting visitors to smell each one (although the air is definitely filled with its aroma upon approach). The show is a multisensory experience and this artwork helps set the tone. It also references the idea of synesthesia (a sensory crossover where sense from one part of the body trigger another) with vibrant colors as an interpretation of smell. The amanita mushroom is both a reference to psychedelics, which can cause temporary synesthesia and are part of the philosophical discourse of hypermodernity, and in particular to one of the most recognizable video games ever made: Super Mario Bros.

The finishing touch is a poetic prompt on the wall in the style of the Fluxus movement, inviting visitors into a conceptual realm.

More details to come - in the meantime The Arcade of Hypermodernity is up and running through July 27, 2024. Gallery is open Tuesday - Friday from 11am - 5pm and Saturdays from 11am - 3pm. We have special activation events throughout.

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