Still from Rachel Rossin, THE MAW OF, 2022. Co-commissioned by the Whitney Museum and KW, Berlin

Today, the Whitney Museum of American Art launched artist Rachel Rossin’s THE MAW OF, a new digital art project on whitney.org. The work is a transmedia story that unfolds across multiple platforms and formats. It reflects on the coalescence and alterations our bodies and minds experience with technology. THE MAW OF is the latest commission for artport, the Museum’s portal dedicated to Internet art, and an online gallery space for commissions of net art.

Through her work, Rachel Rossin investigates the relationship between bodies and machines, highlighting technology’s evolution from a tool to an extension of the mind and body that affects our existence at profound levels. Rossin highlights that technology, ranging from smartphones to virtual reality headsets, has already permeated our lives and increasingly obscures the divide between humans and machines.

“Rachel Rossin blurs boundaries between digital and physical worlds. Her project THE MAW OF explores technology’s impact on the mind and body and invites viewers to engage with the consequences of our dependence on devices and mediation,” says Christiane Paul, Adjunct Curator of Digital Art at the Whitney.

In THE MAW OF, the central protagonist, an illusory female figure, wanders the digital landscape of interfaces overlaid with codes and symbols related to technological and organic systems. A graph of the nervous system and infrared imagery overlay elements of content on whitney.org, creating a surreal and complex online environment. The work’s augmented reality (AR) component is launched by scanning the QR code on the screen and adds another layer to the experience, expanding the narrative to the viewer’s mobile device. When synced with the browser-based experience, the AR layer presents supplemental textual commentary and transports the story’s leading figure out of the browser window and into the hands of the audience.

From September 15-18, 2022, a site-specific installation of THE MAW OF was
presented at Tieranatomisches Theater in Berlin to coincide with Berlin Art Week 2022. Rossin’s installation, composed of sculpture, augmented reality, virtual reality, and net art, addresses the profound consequences of technological evolution and produces a conceptual and visual vocabulary to make this progression palpable.

The web component of THE MAW OF is co-commissioned by the Whitney Museum of American Art and KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, and the project is overseen by Christiane Paul, Adjunct Curator of Digital Art.

More information on THE MAW OF is available on whitney.org.

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Rachel Rossin (b. 1987) is a painter and programmer whose multi-disciplinary practice has established her as a pioneer in the field of virtual reality. Her work blends painting, sculpture, new media, gaming, and video to create digital landscapes that focus on entropy, embodiment, the ubiquity of technology, and its effect on our psychology. Rachel Rossin’s selected solo exhibitions include Stalking The Trace, Zabludowicz Collection, London, 2019; Greasy Light, 14a, Hamburg, 2019; Tennis Elbow, The Journal Gallery, New York, 2019; Peak Performance, Signal Gallery, New York, 2017; My Little Green Leaf, Contemporary Art Centre, Riga, 2016; and Lossy, Zieher Smith & Horton, New York, 2015. Selected group exhibitions include Chaos and Awe: Painting for the 21st Century, the Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville, 2018; After Us, K11 Art Museum, Shanghai, 2017; ARS17, Kiasma Museum, Helsinki, 2017; and First Look, co-presented by Rhizome, The New Museum, New York, 2017. Rossin received a Fellowship in Virtual Reality Research and Development from the New Museum’s NEW INC in 2015.

ABOUT artport

artport is the Whitney Museum’s portal to Internet art and an online gallery space for net art and new media art commissions. Launched in 2001, artport provides access to original commissioned artworks, documentation of net art and new media art exhibitions at the Whitney, and new media art in the Museum’s collection. Recent commissions include The Next Biennial Should Be Curated by a Machine (2021), a collaboration between artists UBERMORGAN, digital humanist Leonarda Impett, and curator Joasia Krysa; Sam Levine and Tega Brain’s New York Apartment (2020); Michael Mandiberg’s Live Study (2019); and Jennifer and Kevin McCoy’s Public Key / Private Key (2019). Audiences can access these and more projects at whitney.org/artport.

ABOUT THE WHITNEY

The Whitney Museum of American Art, founded in 1930 by the artist and philanthropist Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney (1875–1942), houses the foremost collection of American art from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Mrs. Whitney, an early and ardent supporter of modern American art, nurtured groundbreaking artists when audiences were still largely preoccupied with the Old Masters. From her vision arose the Whitney Museum of American Art, which has been championing the most innovative art of the United States for ninety years. The core of the Whitney’s mission is to collect, preserve, interpret, and exhibit American art of our time and serve a wide variety of audiences in celebration of the complexity and diversity of art and culture

in the United States. Through this mission and a steadfast commitment to artists, the Whitney has long been a powerful force in support of modern and contemporary art and continues to help define what is innovative and influential in American art today.

VISITOR INFORMATION

The Whitney Museum of American Art is located at 99 Gansevoort Street between Washington and West Streets, New York City. Public hours are: Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday, 10:30 am–6 pm; Friday, 10:30 am–10 pm; and Saturday and Sunday, 11 am–6 pm. Closed Tuesday. Member-only hours are: Saturday and Sunday, 10:30–11 am. Visitors eighteen years and under and Whitney members: FREE. Admission is pay-what-you-wish on Fridays, 7–10 pm. COVID-19 vaccination and face coverings are not required but strongly recommended. We encourage all visitors to wear face coverings that cover the nose and mouth throughout their visit.