In the Touch Museum, Julie Weitz explores the paradoxical notion of digital humanism—a philosophy that leverages technology to enhance the human experience.
Weitz aims to create an artistic experience for the 21st century millennial, steering away from the traditional—look at a painting, take a Snapchat, move on to the next— rodeo.
Inspired by Weitz’ strong meditational practices, the Touch Museum takes the viewer into another universe, rocking the nervous system with visceral transformation: pink and purple hues transition into a pitch black room, chains suspended from the ceiling, a brain hiding in the metaphorical crevice of the unconscious, whispers of Henri Bergson’s Matter and Memory, mirrored walls, and a meditative score from the Emmy Award Winning composer Benjamin Wynn (aka Deru).
The Touch Museum is an immersive journey where the viewer loses the sense of space and time through the exploration of ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) videos.
We recently caught up with Weitz, who began her career as a painter. At 25, she began teaching painting at the University of South Florida earning a tenured position in five years. Soon after she decided to move LA where she is now a faculty at UCLA Extension.
She has most recently been featured in the New York Times and on the cover of New American Painting Magazine. In 2009, Weitz transitioned into multimedia pieces after becoming entranced by technology’s increasing role in our everyday lives.
When it comes to self-expression, what would you tell your younger self?
Persevere. Trust yourself and go all the way with your ideas. Don’t be deterred by other people’s judgements. Stay true to what you’re excited about.
These are hard things to do because there’s so many distractions being thrown at you every day of what’s cool or what’s trending, but I think that sticking to what you’re passionate about and committing to the process of getting to know yourself is critical.
Slowing down is a big thing for me: Turning off the internet, disconnecting from social media and taking the time to figure out what the questions are that I’m asking. Not getting caught up in the trends of what’s going on in any one moment.
Things are constantly changing, so if you attach yourself too much to something that’s going to be gone tomorrow, so will you. Instead, work on forming an artistic identity that is rooted and not going to blow away in the wind.
What was your mental dialogue saying as you were transitioning away from USF and moving to LA?
I was just pretty excited and ready. I had envisioned moving to LA for a long time so there was no doubt in my mind when the opportunity arose, I took it. It was like I was on a mission to get to here and set up a new life.
I sorta did things in reverse, I was 25 when I got hired as a full-time professor, then I was tenured at a young age, 30. I took the road of proving that I could be an artist and have a solid, secure job but after I was tenured I realized, “Wait, I don’t want to stay in this position for the rest of my life.” I saw my friends in LA and how well they were doing in their careers and when I visited, it was obvious how great the city is.
Life is short, you can’t be miserable in a situation forever, so you have to make those big changes.
Looking back in your artistic career, what is your most memorable accomplishment?
Touch Museum! I’m really excited about it! Before this show, I had never done a large scale video installation. I’m hoping a lot of people get out to see it because it’s experiential. My intention is to take you to another world, to alter your normative state of mind.
Young Projects Gallery | 8687 Melrose Ave #B210 West Hollywood, CA 90069
Tuesday – Friday 11AM – 5PM