"World of Awe, Chapter 2: Destruction and Mending," a virtual walkthrough led by Yael Kanarek and Kerry Doran, originally recorded on 4/30. This recording is Part 1, you can locate Part 2 on our IGTV Channel.
Yael Kanarek’s "World of Awe" is a multi-platform universe that is wholly unique in the history of internet art. If such diverse output can even be considered a movement based on medium, what is certain is that "WOA" brought together all of its tendencies—formalism, conceptualism, hypertext narrative, avatar identities, and radical politics—through portal-like websites that spoke to the paradoxical feelings of isolation and connectivity, anxiety and hope, anonymity and exposure, containment and possibility, wrought by the newly public internet. Our current public health crisis reawakens many of those feelings that "WOA" first commented upon, albeit with more confusion and uncertainty.
"WOA"'s most central components are three websites (though the nearly three-decade project of world building spans software, paintings, works on paper, sculptures, fashion shows, soundscapes, and performances). Each is a chapter comprising the "World of Awe" trilogy. Its narrative follows a nameless Traveler in the endlessly yielding landscape in a state of perpetual dawn and dusk, “Sunrise/Sunset,” entered through a portal in the East Village neighborhood of Manhattan.
Communicating only through poetic love letters, the Traveler diaristically shares discoveries and travails with their Beloved, who remains on the other side.