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Press Release

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Tuesday, August 13, 2019


Sallie Wiggins
Media Contact
757-425-0000 ex. 315

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA — August 13 — The Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) is pleased to present the exhibition Charged. As new generations of artists engage with technology as part of their practice, other possibilities are revealed. Charged explores the technological breakthroughs that are happening at an ever-increasing rate.

Curator Heather Hakimzadeh describes the inspiration behind the exhibition: "Humans, as a species, have been on this planet for eons. Together, our intellectual and cultural histories have advanced with our technological ones. Today we have entered a Digital Age. It affects every aspect of our lives on a global scale. Navigating this new era has proven difficult. The potential for both good and evil is amplified through our phones and tablets. It has the potential to diminish our ability to empathize with others who are not like us."

There is a compulsion to use the electric pulse to connect with the neurological one. This exhibition demonstrates that there are new ways to communicate thoughts and ideas; how we connect and pass along information faster than we ever thought possible. But often, these pathways encourage anonymity and open opportunities for sarcasm, threats and judgement. The artists in this exhibition have gone beyond using technology as an intellectual or aesthetic curiosity. Rather, they are exploring new means of finding our own humanity.
The artists in Charged include, Alan Rath, Ross Birrell and David Harding, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Stacey Steers, Pors and Rao, and Memo Akten. Through sound, image, and interaction, these artists compel their viewer to reach inwards towards an emotional core to find compassion and connection. The process begins with plugging the work into the power grid. From there, art emerges as activism, as conduit for dialogue, as new paths to introspection, as opportunity to redefine what it means to be human.

This exhibition is organized by the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art and curated by Heather Hakimzadeh, Curator. 

Press kit: images, video, and credit lines

ABOUT MOCA: The Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), located in Virginia Beach, is a non-profit that exists to foster awareness, exploration and understanding of the significant art of our time. MOCA is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM). As Virginia’s only museum dedicated solely to the exhibition of contemporary art, MOCA encourages visitors to discover and explore art and to engage in hands-on art experiences. 

ON VIEW AT MOCA | September 21, 2019 – February 16, 2020
Michael Kagan: I Was There When It Happened 
Echard Wheeler: In Stillness

MOCA is located at 2200 Parks Ave., at the entrance of I-264 in Virginia Beach. The museum is open Tue-Fri 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sat-Sun 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Admission is $8 for adults and $6 for seniors/65+, students (includes children 5 and up) and active military. MOCA members and children four and under are admitted free of charge.

Image credit: Memo Akten. Body Paint, 2009/2019. Interactive installation. Courtesy of the artist.