Entering ‘topia was a work of interactive web-art developed around the need for social distancing during the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic in the US. It is the fourth piece in interactive artist Owen Lowery's Mediums series, which explores how unbelievably bad we all are at communication and how unbelievably beautiful our relentless effort to do it better is.
Over the years our communication has grown more digital. We connect to others via social media, emojis, tweets, and hashtags. Now, in the age of COVID-19, digital communication is no longer an option, it’s the standard. Some view our new digital normal as the precursor to a dystopia, others a utopia. Either way, it’s a ‘topia we’re stumbling into together, desperate to connect.
The ‘topia is an isolated world of abstractly visualized digital communication, tapped into through many of the communication tools being utilized during pandemic times. You can tweet tumbling messages, scribble emojis, hashtag colors, and alter the ‘topia's physics through an open conference call. The outcome is live-streamed, a collective bit of garbled communication art, sometimes hideous, always beautiful.
Though the 'topia is currently down, it is sometimes included in virtual festivals. Check back or at the 'topia website for details of any upcoming events.