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Bemis exhibition Transceiver makes unique use of social media

A USB flash drive mounted outside of the BemisUNDERGROUND entrance allows for anonymous, offline, peer to peer file-sharing network in a public space. Art by Aram Bartholl_Dead Drops (2011). Photo courtesy of Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts.

Omaha’s Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts regularly houses artists and exhibitions that pique our interest, and the organization itself is a major part of the city’s creative community. Through February 11, its featuring an exhibition that’s sure to cause curiosity amongst the city’s tech enthusiasts.

“Transceiver is an exhibition of works sent entirely by non-traditional means,” the Bemis website says. “Artists from across the U.S. and abroad have been asked to send work via chat, Skype, email, FTP, streaming audio, radio, Twitter, telegram and Bluetooth.”

One of the pieces is connected to a website tracking soldier deaths in Iraq, and when it’s updated, the wearer of an armband is notified. Another is a simple USB flash drive mounted in one of Bemis’ exterior walls, allowing for anonymous, offline peer-to-peer file-sharing.

A press release from Bemis provides more insight into Transceiver. “While technologies of transmission have closed the physical gap between people, the art world still remains geographically centered. New York City, Los Angeles, Berlin, Miami: the critical mass still remains in these locations.

“As curators who do not live in a major art hub we choose to see this as a challenge for innovation instead of a liability. The exhibition and its works argue that curators and institutions need not rely on large budgets to mount expansive international exhibitions.”

Curated by Drift Station and Joel Damon, Bemis Underground curator, a companion exhibition will be mounted at Drift Station in Lincoln, Neb. through February 24.

To learn more on Transceiver, visit bemiscenter.org, and if you’re free Saturday, check out the Bemis Gallery Talk about the exhibition at 12 p.m.

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