This ground-breaking experience of technology, photography and psychology will examine the intersection of technology and humanity in the digital age
Artist, author, and lecturer John Mack is to present his month-long immersive exhibition and forum A Species Between Worlds: Our Nature, Our Screens in New York City’s Chelsea district during September 2022.
A Species Between Worlds will showcase more than 65 of John Mack’s artworks in a 17,000 sq ft exhibition space, featuring imagery of more than 50 U.S. National Parks and the Seven Wonders of the Natural World, all manipulated and combined with artificial landscapes from the Pokémon Go app.
The exhibition was inspired by the Pokémon Go craze which began in 2016, leading Mack to explore how the phenomenon was blurring the boundaries between virtuality and reality. Developed over the past six years, this exhibition examines the intersection of humanity and technology, via a gamified meditation experience aimed at restoring balance between ourselves and our smart devices.
Alongside Mack’s ground-breaking artwork, A Species Between Worlds will feature a rich program of talks and events, free to the public, that will convene thought leaders from around the world on the increasingly slippery boundary between our humanity and our technology.
Program highlights include Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen; a conversation with Yuval Noah Harari, author of Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind; a panel hosted by Stanford University Professors Rob Reich, Jeremey Weinstein and Mehran Sahami to discuss their book, System Error: Where Big Tech Went Wrong and How We Can Reboot; a panel on the State of Social Media featuring NYU’s Jonathan Haidt, Center for Humane Technology’s Tristan Harris, NYC school commissioner David Banks, and much more.
John Mack is an artist, photographer, author, lecturer and the founder of the non-profit initiative Life Calling, whose mission is to foster awareness and balance for society in the Digital Age. He is a frequent speaker at conferences and universities on the subjects of technology, awareness and consciousness.
Mack says: ‘I’m very consciously not anti-technology, but rather I aim to foster mindfulness so that our devices serve as our tools and not the other way around. The exhibition is an invitation to contemplate our relationship to our devices and the surrounding world while inspiring the introspection needed to prevent the loss of our humanity.’
He adds: ‘Humans are a species between worlds. We’re on a mass-migration from the natural world to the digital world, abdicating our natural spaces while expanding digital ones. Smartphones, designed to be tools, have become our reality — and with every swipe, tap and pinch, our humanity is being exported, little by little.’
The exhibition will also offer a customized app that guides visitors throughout a gamified psychological exploration framed by the artifice of the Pokémon Go interface, which gradually fades as reality is restored.
A Species Between Worlds is supported by Tavros Capital, Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.
The exhibition also coincides with the publication (powerHouse Books) of Mack’s collection of poetry, A Land Between Worlds: The Shifting Poetry of the Great American Landscape. The collection is John Mack’s vision of who we are in relation to our environment, and looks for clues as to whether a balance between nature and today’s increasingly seductive technology can be attained. A Land Between Worlds is the result of John Mack’s epic ‘reconnaissance mission’, having crisscrossed the entire United States of America over a four-year journey.
A SPECIES BETWEEN WORLDS: OUR NATURE, OUR SCREENS
537 West 27th Street
New York, NY 10001
September 1 – 30, 2022
ABOUT JOHN MACK
John Mack is an artist, photographer, author, lecturer and the founder of the non-profit initiative Life Calling, whose mission is to foster awareness and balance for society in the Digital Age. Mack is a 2022 honoree of The Explorer’s Club 50: Fifty people changing the world who the world needs to know about. Mack also serves as a board member of Fairplay, an organization that strives to create a world where kids can be kids, free from the false promises of marketers and the manipulations of Big Tech. He has served as an adjunct lecturer for the Graduate program of Design at the University of Lisbon. He currently lives between London and Seville.
ABOUT LIFE CALLING
Founded in 2021, The Life Calling Initiative responds to the increasingly eroding boundaries between humanity and technology in the Digital Age. Its fundamental mission is to both raise awareness and to develop educational strategies to help preserve our humanity in light of the encroaching digital landscape.