We have never been as far removed from the land as we are now, and the technologies of the future won't be rectifying that but rather compounding it. Only people on communes grow their own food; the rest of us rely on the benevolence of the Archer Daniels & Midland Corporation. At the same time, gardening is America's most universal hobby. While people make obscene amounts of money by producing nothing but virtual paths for money to follow —in other words, two-thirds of their days are spent on pure abstraction—they steep themselves in sensual trappings: the solid comfort of a good Eames chair and the purr of a Testarossa. The future is now at the Beall Center, asking nothing more than a move of the mouse. If that mouse is on Mars, that's all well and good. Just give us something—anything —on which to stand.
"Shift-Ctrl: computers, games and art" at UC IRVINE, Donald R. and Joan F. Beall Center for Art and Technology, Campus & W. Peltason drs., Irvine, (949) 824-6206. Thru Dec. 3.