Question: A quirky Soho art gallery known for works by art-world outsiders and the certifiably Insane hosts an exhibition of cutting-edge multimedia projects. Is it (a) a major departure, or (b) more of the same?

Answer: A little of both.

Opening Thursday at Ricco/Maresca, “code” will introduce Manhattan to an assortment of digital multimedia artists ranging from downtown hackers to haute Net-heads and big-name software royalty, a group of digital dreamers for whom a touch of madness is an asset. Their work includes virtual worlds, submicroscopic digital landscapes and interactive art that links gailerygoers to participants across the World Wide Web).

Painter, filmmaker and doyenne of digital imagery Char Davies will present Osmose, a psychedelic immersive virtual reality environment. Davies is director of visual research at the legendary Montreal 3-D animation software company SoftImage, which makes the software Hollywood uses to create its dinosaurs and spaceships, but Osmose has little in common with the typical VR shoot-’em-up: One floats disembodied through a surreal landscape of translucent trees, gently flowing phosphene-crowned streams and glowing computer code in search of epiphany.

Khyai Braun and Jackie Lightfield present Stimulated Choice, a spooky interactive entertainment kiosk—equal parts sci-fi ATM, slot machine, peep show and fortune-teller—that relentlessly gathers personal information as it seduces the viewer into self-revelation.

Alice Sat Here, by Nina Sobeil and Emily Hartzell, consists of a telerobotlc videocam on a wheeled throne. While guests drive the throne around the gallery, World Wide Websters will aim the camera long-distance, enjoying the spectacle on their screens at home. And there's much, much more. Go in person or join the fun via the Web.

—Curtis Lang


Code runs Oct 26-Dec 2 at Ricco/Maresca, 152 Wooster Street between Prince and Houston Sts (780-0071). Subway: N, R to Prince St; B, D, F, Q to Broadway-Lafayette St; 6 to Spring St.
Open Tue-Sat, 11am-6pm.
[link defunct, please visit:]

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Last verified: May 28, 2017