Artists Explore Humans’ Relationship with Nature in Today’s Digital Era

As the world becomes more high-tech, humans rely on that technology to experience nature. For instance, audiences watch the natural world on television programs and networks such as National Geographic. Children explore virtual lands in digital games like Minecraft and can plant their own crops in FarmVille. Pelham Art Center (PAC)’s current exhibition suggests that the more technology brings humans closer to nature, the easier it may be to overlook the idea that it also provides humans with a mediated, simulated or augmented version of real-life nature. The exhibiting artists in A Rose is a Screen is a Rose respond to today’s consuming digital world and investigate how that world has reshaped the way in which humans experience nature. The exhibition features four artists who each explore this topic through digital and analog technologies, such as building physical installations and enhancing reality. Roxana Azar captures the beauty of nature in her uncanny digital photographs of plant-like beings, while also reminding the viewer of the increasing danger of climate change. Richard Munaba’s screen installations are immersed with dirt, plants and jungles, and aim to make viewers more aware of their estranged relationship with nature. In Paula Morales’s pieces, the screen is a portal to nature, yet also a flattened version of the real 3D world. Sacha Vega transforms a single image of clouds into a retro viewfinder, a life-sized mesh screen and floor surface. Her works invite visitors to see, touch and walk on clouds. The exhibition, on view through June 30, draws inspiration from writer Gertrude Stein’s line “a rose is a rose is a rose…” and uses screens as a platform, a tool and a foundation for artworks. For more info, visit

A version of this article first appeared in the June issue of ArtsNews, ArtsWestchester’s monthly publication. ArtsNews is distributed throughout Westchester County. A digital copy is also available at

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