Rachel Stuckey Looks At 'Good Days & Bad Days On The Internet'

Nov 21, 2017

"I've been working for several years on the theme of how humans and technology interact," says artist Rachel Stuckey. "Especially on an emotional level."

"I guess maybe I'm a little bit different than... the classic millennial who really has grown up with computers," says Stuckey, remembering the early pre-Internet part of her life. "I remember the day that we got AOL in my house and that sort of started to become part of my life."

Her current exhibition examines the way we interact with the web and technology, but not from an overly cynical or overly positive viewpoint. "There are dominant voices in culture [who] are either very anti-technology... or huge proponents of it, and I'm wanting to present maybe the value of both sides," she says. "And the fact that our opinion of technology varies day to day, and within the day."

"We're just so tied to our technology, whether we feel good or bad about it," she says. "So I think it's important to critically look at it, also to make fun of and play with it, so that we're aware of what's happening instead of just being taken along by it."

She's designed the exhibition to have a bit of a narrative. "[It's] sort of designed to feel like one of those late-at-night browser crawls that you have where you maybe start with a cat video on youtube and then eventually realize you're way off somewhere totally weird and different," she says. "It starts off on kind of a superficial, parody level and then gets darker and more abstract as you progress through the space."

The pieces included in Good Days & Bad Days on the Internet include custom software, projection mapping, performance videos, and some original music from Gel Set and Slop Wop.

The work is all about interacting with the internet, but you actually have to travel to Women and Their Work art gallery to experience it. "The IRL experience of it is very important," Stuckey says. "And the fact that you can have a community experience with technology that is physically with other people, in person, rather than connecting in a digital space."

There is a digital component, though: a twitterbot that will encourage people to pull out their phones while at the gallery. "I think what it does is make people actually conscious about when they pull out their phone," Stuckey says. "Because they're being prompted to do so as part of an artwork, it changes the level of engagement and either makes them think 'Oh, right, I want to take a picture of this and put it on instagram' or 'Maybe I shouldn't be checking my email right now.' But we'll see what happens."

Good Days & Bad Days on the Internet is on display at Women and Their Work through January 11.