Disorientalism: Katherine Behar, Marianne M. Kim and Silvia Ruzanka: EDG KINECT Cube – 03 | 22 – 03 | 24


Disorientalism, a collaboration between Asian-American artists Katherine Behar and Marianne M. Kim, studies the disorienting effects of technologized labor, junk culture, and consumerism. Utilizing live performance, video, and photographic projects, Disorientalism is an ongoing effort to reverse-engineer our identities. To create “Participation May Vary,” Behar and Kim collaborated with game designer and media artist Silvia Ruzanka, whose independent projects include video, installation, performance, and virtual environments.

In “Brown Bagging,” we join the Disorientals to work a shift in Wendy’s Brown Bag factory where the gamification of labor plays out on the factory floor. In Participation May Vary, a Kinect video game created in collaboration with Silvia Ruzanka, participants play along with Wendy at work, but Taylorism meets Mario when repetitive gaming maneuvers meld with the repetitive tasks of factory food production. Participation May Vary compares repetitive gestures and narratives of progress across factory work, video games, and Tai Chi. It’s a disorienting mash-up in which participating as a “productive” member of contemporary global culture erodes the line between producing commodities and producing self.

This project is a chapter in The Food Groups, Disorientalism’s five-part series focusing on race and labor in American food production and promotion. One-by-one, the Disorientals encounter five historical food industry characters: Wendy of Wendy’s Old Fashioned Hamburgers, Aunt Jemima, Land O’Lakes’ Indian Maiden, Sun-Maid and Chiquita Banana. In their encounters with these iconic identities, the Disorientals undertake efforts to erase the distinction between the depersonalized production and the personalized promotion of industrial food.



Myers School of Art
The University of Akron
Akron, OH 44325

Primary Gallery:

Emily Davis Gallery
Folk Hall
150 E Exchange St, Akron OH 44325

Satelite Location A:

Honors College
Orr Residence Hall
180 S College St, Akron OH 44325

Satelite Location B:

Emerging Technologies Lab
Bierce Library
Buchtel Common, Akron OH 44325


The Collider Exhibition Series examines the impact, implications and inspiration of the phenomenon generally categorized under the umbrella term New Media within the design practice and fine arts.

The theme for Collider :: C4 this year is spectacle.

spectacle refers to an event that is memorable for the appearance it creates.

Spectacle operates in two contexts simultaneously. On the one hand, it refers to high culture (drama, movies) performances where the draw for an audience is the impressive visual accomplishment. On the other hand, it refers to low cultural shows operating in a folk environment. These can range from the freak show to folk drama to tableau and beast-plays.


Exhibition Dates:

March 19, 2012 - April 13, 2012

Opening Reception Emily Davis Gallery:

March 20, 2012 at 4:30 - 8:00 P.M.

Elliot Earls Lecture:

March 26, 2012 at 7:30 P.M.

Golan Levin Lecture:

April 3, 2012 at 7:30 P.M.

Mark Amerika Lecture:

April 9, 2012 at 7:30 P.M.