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BILLED-A-BEAR ʕ´•ᴥ•`ʔ | Nerds are over, are you a nunc?

Marissa Sean Cruz & Maya Ben David
May 27 – June 10 | 2023
Artist Talks: May 27 | 4 – 6 PM
Reception: May 27| 7 – 9 PM

BILLED-A-BEAR ʕ´•ᴥ•`ʔ: Contextually, many facets of our lives have been digitized by the global pandemic. Cryptocurrency gained significant buzz as yet another avenue of augmented life.  NFTs are a trendy, albeit notorious form of blockchain authentication gaining exponential traction in digital art purchasing. For a select few, this is an extremely profitable system. Numerous critics (myself alike) see this as an ethically sticky exchange. As a digital artist, I see this shift in consumption as both damaging and unsustainable. NFTs create false scarcity in an over-saturated market.“BILLED-A-BEAR ʕ´•ᴥ•`ʔ”” directly responds to this turbulent market, a grotesque digital system that is reflective of the horrors in away-from-keyboard systems in the present art-industrial complex.

Nerds are over, are you a Nunc? Is a video that tries to convince the viewer that there’s a Ferris wheel worshipping new subculture and that they are already part of it. How to make your own internet subculture with an active fandom? Create compelling lore. As I explain in the video, “A Nunc has focused nerdiness, that is not necessarily connected to nerd culture”. Myself and co-creator Iain Soder designed a term to describe the experience of being culturally divergent in your interests but not in the way someone would describe a classic nerd. For example, where a nerd loves Marvel movies and is good at math, a nunc might be obsessed with collecting vintage Barbie dolls or taking pictures of cool cars. The term nerd is outdated, you are no longer a loser for being good at science or liking Star Wars, in fact, you are positively average.

Marissa Sean Cruz is a digital multimedia and video performance artist from Kjipuktuk (so-called Halifax). Their experimental videos use 3D modelling, sound design and costumed performances to study identity and value systems. Remixes of pop culture and commercialized products are synthesized creating alternative narratives. These humorous works aim to process a fast-paced contemporary present and envision possible, utopian futures.

Maya Ben David (MBD) is a Toronto-based artist. Working in video, installation, and performance, she creates worlds and characters that aid her ongoing exploration of anthropomorphism, cosplay, and performative personas. Maya is currently trying to become famous on Youtube by combining the “normie” appeal of video essays with surrealist performance art. 

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