Digital Studies Profs Blend Tech and Art to Reflect Modern Life

Joelle Dietrick and Owen Mundy in the VAC

Two Digital Studies professors are spotlighted in the Charlotte Observer for their digital art, which encourages viewers to interact with—and reflect on—an interconnected world.

Joelle Dietrick, assistant professor of digital studies, and Owen Mundy, visiting assistant professor of digital studies, are husband and wife and artistic collaborators.

Their joint show, “Speed of Thinking” will be on view in the Van Every/Smith Galleries from Aug. 26 to Sept. 25.

The Observer writes, “This isn’t art you buy to hang over your sofa.”

Dietrick and Mundy’s most recent works are closer to video games than to images.

For example, their piece, “The Speed of Thinking” recalls 1980s arcade classic “Tetris.”

“It allows players to plunk colorful, virtual steel boxes onto a cargo ship,” writes Paige Leggett for the Observer. “Each one lands with a thud. The boxes just keep coming—and with increasing velocity. They threaten to sink the ship before it even leaves port. The player slowly realizes the game doesn’t end until it crashes (as it’s designed to do), and the player finds out he or she didn’t prevent sea levels from rising”

Dietrick and Mundy hope their art encourages viewers to think about the global supply chains that surround them—and how they fit in this new world.

“We’re hoping our art will make people pause and think: Are the systems we’re using really the best available?”

The opening reception is scheduled from 7-8:30 p.m. Sept. 4. Dietrick and Mundy also will host a panel discussion during Common Hour on Tuesday, Sept. 17.


  • August 22, 2019