Psychedelic Tourism


Left: Greg Wohlwen's Ridiculous Fishing installation. Right: William Chyr's Manifold Garden playable vignette. Photo Credit: Caleb Foss (2016)

Left: Greg Wohlwen's Ridiculous Fishing installation. Right: William Chyr's Manifold Garden playable vignette. Photo Credit: Caleb Foss (2016)

Psychedlic Tourism is an exhibition featuring the work of William Chyr, Paloma Dawkins, and Greg Wohlwend. The exhibition was curated by VGA Director of Exhibitions and Programs Chaz Evans and presented in partnership with the Chicago Design Museum and hosted by Cards Against Humanity. An opening reception and artist talk was held on Saturday, March 5 from 5-8pm and was sponsored by Arcade Brewery. The premise is a W.J.T. Mitchell proposition that landscape imagery isn’t merely a contemplative space for transcendence or allegorical depiction of the environment waiting to be decoded. Instead landscape imagery actively constructs cultural power in collective social imagination. Landscape naturalizes ideas about our environment and recodes those ideas into the world around us. This exhibition presents work by three artists that demonstrate how this process might change if the environments depicted are the imaginary worlds of video games: dynamic, navigable and with no geographical referent. William Chyr destabilizes the built environment of cityscapes by reconfiguring how space itself is meant to function in Manifold Garden. Paloma Dawkins and Kyler Kelly’s Gardenarium presents a myriad landscape that serves as home to a population that struggles with both interior and exterior space. Greg Wohlwend’s illustrations for Vlambeer’s Ridiculous Fishing depict the depths of a dark past against a bright, geometric, and excessive seascape. By inviting us to visit unstable, non-linear, and psychedelic places, the artists exhibited can inscribe their own perspectives into video game environments in a manner similar to how collective assumptions have been inscribed into landscape imagery of the past.

Work by William Chyr. Image Credit: Caleb Foss (2016)

Work by William Chyr. Image Credit: Caleb Foss (2016)

Work by Paloma Dawkins. Image Credit: Caleb Foss (2016)

Work by Paloma Dawkins. Image Credit: Caleb Foss (2016)

Artist Talk. Pictured left to Right: Chaz Evans, Paloma Dawkins, Greg Wohlwend, William Chyr

Artist Talk. Pictured left to Right: Chaz Evans, Paloma Dawkins, Greg Wohlwend, William Chyr