"Elle Aviv Newton felt crushed by this past November’s election results. She withdrew from political conversations. She avoided the news, which suddenly seemed to lack credibility. And then the 28-year-old curator and Oakland native rebounded. “I got interested in artwork that reflected a really deep engagement with the news, that showed the artists really struggling through the surface,” she told the Express. “I wanted to build a lighthouse in our ocean of screens.”
The artworks in Believe the Hype, which Newton solicited and selected from an open call for submissions, explore our so-called “post-truth” era of filter bubbles, hyper-partisan shills, and political polarity — all closely bound, the show suggests, to a great crisis in the media.
The show features a dozen artists, about half of them local, working in various mediums to complicate or elucidate how we generate and distribute information. That means analysis of the political spectrum that composes the “alt-right” online (Caroline Sinders’ “Things Are Rarely Binary”), speculative social-media headlines printed on fabrics (Lucia Goodbag’s “Alternative Facts”), and an automated Twitter account (Ben Lerchin’s “#fakenewsbot”). Believe the Hype exposes the bitter ideological battles behind even seemingly neutral reportage in the digital age..."