Art, Arts & Entertainment

Interpreting reality in a digital age

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At Projet Pangée’s small gallery on the edge of Place des Arts, artist Lauren Pelc-McArthur is turning the digital into something palpable. With acrylic textures and neon colours, her pieces feel familiar, as if you have seen them before—if you’re a participant in the current worldwide digital age, it’s likely that you have.

McArthur’s pieces are part of Futuristic Future, an exhibit displaying various paintings and sculptures. Acting as a commentary on the digitalization of our world, the gallery, open now through late February, features works by Montreal-based McArthur, in addition to artists Amy Brener and Cat Bluemke. Curator Joani Tremblay, who had followed McArthur’s work for two years, connected all the artists’ pieces together as a means of observing rather than living in the digitalized world. 

Amidst the sea of luminescent paintings, glass prisms, and textured silicone sculptures is a unique take on humanity’s future technological presence. The physical presence of the artwork acts as an anchor in reality as the world launches into a very digital future. 

McArthur’s large, so-bright-they-burn paintings mimic the screens and images that society is inundated with every day. The artist explained the consistent use of backlit-reminiscent pinks and blues throughout—colours mostly seen on the screens of various devices—to make something material out of our digital lives. 

“[I’m interested in] what gets lost in translation when you’re taking work from screen space and turning it into tangible reality,” said McArthur, who has a background in both painting and graphic design. 

When you observe the way the paintings seemingly change as different angles highlight their multifaceted nature, it seems that turning the digital into something physical adds more than just a third dimension.  Walking into the gallery is essentially taking a step away from society’s techno-future. The pieces confront how the world is domineered by the digital and how technology is becoming so ingrained into our very nature that the projected outcome itself is not totally concrete—but the art certainly is. Acting as the ultimate interpretation of the digital age, Futuristic Future provides an artistic and somewhat surreal outlook on what our future will look like.


Futuristic Future will remain open to the public at Projet Pangée’s gallery (372 Sainte-Catherine Ouest) until Feb. 18. 

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