Digital makes, and the art world takes. That’s reality today. So “A Different Kind of Order,” the title of the International Center of Photography’s fourth triennial, and its best yet, is apt.
In 2003, when the triennial was new, digital photography was a trend in search of credibility, and the Internet merely an optional image source. A decade later, photography is largely dependent on the Internet. Pixelated images flow through the world unstanched. The triennial, organized by four of the center’s curators — Joanna Lehan, Kristen Lubben, Christopher Phillips and Carol Squiers — is what new-work surveys strive to be but seldom are: about art precisely now.
Well over half the artists in it use digital technology in their work or mimic its properties. For the youngest participants, born in the 1980s, the mash-up mentality of the Photoshop era is clearly second nature, as they nonchalantly mix photography with painting, sculpture, video, whatever.
Maybe most noticeable is the role of the visual information glut: Some artists embrace it, take what they find, culling and editing; others retreat into overdrive versions of object making, inflected with digital thinking. Either way, a sense of connectivity with a networked world comes through. Global political realities seep through the show like a spreading stain, sometimes apparent, sometimes not.
DETAILS | Exhibition closes: September 22, 2013
MUSEUM | 1133 Avenue of the Americas at 43rd Street, New York, NY 10036