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Parents of millennials all know the writing’s on the wall — of Facebook, Tumblr and Instagram, that is — and that the way we communicate has changed forever, thanks to the onward march of readily available technologies we could have barely imagined were possible fifty years ago. In a nutshell,...
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Parents of millennials all know the writing’s on the wall — of Facebook, Tumblr and Instagram, that is — and that the way we communicate has changed forever, thanks to the onward march of readily available technologies we could have barely imagined were possible fifty years ago. In a nutshell, that’s the theme of TEXT, a new exhibit opening today at Downtown Aurora Visual Arts, which explores old and new systems of communication through the eyes and works of artist/mentors Rick Griffith, Joel Swanson and Xi Zhang and the youth artists of DAVA.

Using new technologies is second nature to today’s kids, notes DAVA gallery manager Viviane Le Courtois, and that’s the real revelation of TEXT — that they are leaving us in the dust in a flurry of texting, social networking, abbreviating, substituting emojis for words, and endless scrolling through images that globalize and simplify everyday exchanges. “Kids communicate in very different ways than we do,” she says. “They’re used to technology; it’s the only thing they know.” Each of the three artists made connections with different groups of kids by mixing old and new typography techniques (Griffith); juxtaposing modern pop imagery with traditional settings (Zhang); and exploring how hand movements with a mouse and keyboard mold language in ways we don’t always consciously think about (Swanson). The kids responded by creating personal emojis, story stones emulating relics of Mayan and Egyptian cultures, hand-drawn selfies and computer animations.

TEXT opens with a reception from 4 to 7:30 p.m. at DAVA, 405 Florence Street in Aurora, and runs through June 28; today’s festivities include a performance by spoken-word artist Molina Speaks, highlighting still another method for communicating through language. Visit davarts.org or call 303-367-5886.
Fri., May 16, 4-7:30 p.m.; Mondays-Fridays. Starts: May 16. Continues through June 28, 2014

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