The Social Network

The New Museum Triennial buzzes with the new media of the masses.

Geumhyung Jeong’s 7 Ways

With its focus on emerging artists, New York’s New Museum Triennial has been a closely watched proving ground since its inception in 2009. But with new-media macher Lauren Cornell and artist Ryan Trecartin at the helm, the 2015 edition, opening February 25, has generated unusually loud buzz. Titled “Surround Audience,” the exhibition grew out of Cornell and Trecartin’s conversations about how social media has changed mass culture. “We live in this very chatty, hypervisible society that is empowering,” says Cornell, the museum’s curator of digital projects. “But we are also experiencing new pressures, like surveillance and data capturing.” The 51 artists selected—the majority of whom were born in the 1980s—explore this tense, topsy-turvy moment via a wild variety of media. Through video and sculpture, South Korean Onejoon Che investigates a North Korean company that makes national monuments for numerous African governments; Michigan-based Steve Roggenbuck is known for the “poetic readings” he posts on YouTube. Says Trecartin, “We thought about artists who are hard to show because they are working in unusual ways, and whose inventiveness is really shattering our understanding of what art is.”