Molly Soda asks "What's Your Wifi?"

Melody Baetens
The Detroit News

Forget paint and clay. This week, North End Studios in Detroit is hosting a collection of intangible digital artwork made with mouse clicks and imagination.

The pieces in "What's Your Wifi?" are created by artists from Detroit, New York, France, London and elsewhere. The exhibit is curated by Internet artist Molly Soda with the help of multimedia publishing platform NewHive.com.

"It's going to be pretty intense," says Soda, who explains that the creations will be displayed on vintage computer screens, TVs and via projector. "It's not going to feel like a regular art opening because all the work is digital. It's a lot more interactive ... it'll be more colorful, a bit busier and a little more overwhelming."

Works created on NewHive are often a colorful and bizarre cocktail of photos; many are like a moving digital collage. Much of it — including Soda's own work, which does not appear in the show — looks like a throwback to the early days of website-making, with retro fonts, glittery GIFs, and late '90s/early 2000s pop culture references.

Soda — who has 40,000 followers on Tumblr and 18,000 on Twitter — says she enjoys this type of artwork because it's accessible.

"When I was in college, I got more into video and web design ... it seemed natural to me in a way because everybody has a computer and everyone has access to the same methods of creating in a sense," says Soda, 25, who majored in photography at New York University. "I think it's interesting because it's kind of a little low brow, but it doesn't have to be, but I think it can be seen that way because it's something that everybody has access to. It's really easy to share."

A native of Bloomington, Indiana, Soda moved to Detroit from Chicago in the fall of 2013. She says she found the art community here to be welcoming and positive.

"I became obsessed with Detroit mostly because of the way I can be an artist here," says Soda, who was named one of "The Most Important Artists of 2013" by Complex Magazine. "It's more affordable and less overwhelming and the people I met here in my first two weeks were so welcoming and willing to help me on my projects and show me around."

Soda says in the future she would like to do more exhibits like "What's Your Wifi?," which includes Detroit-based artists Amber Locke, Sarah Cohen and PRISMVIEWS.



"What's Your Wi-Fi?"

Digital works by Amber Locke, Sarah Cohen, PRISMVIEWS, Emilie Gervais, Terrell Davis, Lauren Poor, Tyler Kline, ieatlemonstheniseeagain, Bryce Grates and Maisie Cousins, curated by Molly Soda

7 p.m. Thursday

North End Studios

5101 Lorraine, Detroit