One of our favorite things to do in NYC is discover new and creative exhibitions at some of the city's best free art galleries. While scrolling through @artworldnyc's Instagram, we found that local interdisciplinary artist Julia Sinelnikova recently debuted her latest sculptural work called Rootkit at Superchief, a free art gallery in Ridgewood.
The installation, inspired by cyberpunk novel Snow Crash, incorporates projectors, TVs, hand-cut mylar, binary code and more to create an imaginable world of cyber warfare. At its essence, the solo exhibition looks like a holographic dream, but it's quite the brain buster once you learn the concept behind this enticing light show. “Rootkit is the name for a common computer virus,” Sinelnikova says. “It’s a type of code that can be embedded in your computer, but you can’t see it. Even if you reinstall your operating system, it’s still there.”
This idea ties into the premise for Snow Crash, which Sinelnikova explains, “is about a head hacker inside this virtual reality world who takes a digital drug, like a disc, to see what it is. A hologram appears and shows him binary code or white noise. He looks at it for a second and laughs. But when he did, his brain read it, and it destroyed his language skills. His hologram breaks down and he goes into a coma in real life. The whole novel is about solving this crime.”
(FYI: Sinelnikova and a few other performing artists act out this scene in the book with her masterpiece, and she plans to host more performances before the exhibit ends on February 9.)
Hmm, the thought of technology ruining our language skills? It's pretty heavy (and relatable) stuff overall. But, like a moth to a flame, we couldn't help but check out the beautiful scene once we found out it existed.
The photos below give you an idea as to what we saw. If you happen to be wandering around Ridgewood tonight, it's worth popping in. The art gallery itself rocks a laid-back vibe. (There were couches to sit on, cute dogos running around, and DJ beats played in the background.) Just take note that Superchief is only open from 7pm to midnight—which is awesome. More galleries should have those hours, we tell ya!
Photograph: Courtesy Elizabeth Scholnick