Technology that’s been manipulated into running faster is “overclocked” in the computer world, but the rest of the world may be “overclocked” too.
Ohio State’s art and technology program is examining that phenomenon in its end-of-semester exhibition titled “OverClocked.” This week, Hopkins Hall gallery will showcase art students’ ideas on how societal pressures to perform better might have gotten out of hand.
“‘OverClocked’ for us is usually a reference to gaming culture, where they’ll take a computer and make it go much faster, but we’re seeing this pretty much in the environment,” said Ken Rinaldo, an art and technology professor and co-organizer of the exhibit.
He added that student applicants have shown a wide range of interpretations and visitors can expect depictions of issues ranging from over prescribed pharmaceuticals to overflowing landfills.
For Rinaldo and Amy Youngs, his partner in organizing the exhibition, he said choosing the gallery theme each semester is an important and difficult decision. They aim to choose relevant topics that reflect the state of the world at the time. This spring, “OverClocked” seemed as timely as ever.
“One of the things we know is true, at least in some people’s worlds, is that we know the environment is changing,” Rinaldo said. “There’s global weather uncertainty. We know there’s tons of pollution happening. We know that we’re all moving quickly. All of these, in our opinion, are basically the results of overclocking the planet.”
Being the last exhibition of the semester for the Department of Art’s largest program, Rinaldo said this show has received more than 280 submissions from students studying disciplines such as 3D animation and modeling, robotic, internet, and game art.
The submissions will be evaluated and chosen this weekend by a panel made up of nine faculty members, senior lecturers and graduate teaching associates from art and technology, which, Rinaldo said, is valuable to those who are selected.
“For the students, if they can get in, then it’s a great honor because they’re being, in a sense, evaluated by their peers,” he said.
Emily Subr, a second-year in studio art, has thrown her hat in the ring. Her 3D-animation piece strays away from both the traditional overclocked definition and the exhibition’s environmental take.
Inspired by her own Korean grandmother, Subr’s piece tells the story of a young boy’s misunderstanding of his grandfather and how he’s able to find peace after his death.
She said her animation ties into the theme differently because it equates a child’s fast paced mind jumping to conclusions to how an overclocked computer is re-configured to skip steps.
“My main character, he’s very primal influenced and quick minded, which is similar to how we have these computers that are so fast-paced and also in society, because technology is so advanced now, we’re taught at a young age to process information a lot faster,” Subr said. “So, this kid is processing his grandfather’s actions very fast and not thinking about what’s beyond just this exterior.”
With so many interpretations of the theme, there’s a lot to take away from the exhibition, Rinaldo said, but he hopes visitors will have an emotional connection to each piece.
“I also hope that they would walk away with an understanding that artists can be critical makers,” he said. “That art can both be atheistic and decorative … but we can also make a work of art that has a really deep and important message. That may involve some kind of social change in our culture.”
“OverClocked” will be at Hopkins Hall Gallery from 11 a.m to 5 p.m. through Friday. Admission is free.