Jessica Gomula-Kruzic - Complicit Participants

  • March 4 to April1, 2017
  • Building Imagination Center at Art Space on Main






Artist Statement

//Building Imagination

We Need You; Are you ready?

It’s not enough to sit back and read the story. You need to be part of the action. You need to make a difference. YOU need to know how to change our city.

In February 2010, the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index interviewed more than 353,000 participants and asked individuals to assess their jobs, finances, physical health, emotional state of mind and communities. The survey ranked Modesto 161 out of the 162 cities surveyed.

After examining 70 criteria, the 2006 Most Livable Cities ranking placed Modesto, California last of 373 cities. In April 2009, rated it the least livable metro area of more than 500,000 people, and in late 2008, Forbes Magazine rated it one of the 10 most miserable cities in the country. Modesto’s current ranking is in stark contrast to its reputation in the middle years of the 20th century as a progressive and desirable community known for its cutting edge architecture and urban design, and one of the fastest growing cities in the country.

//Building Imagination is dedicated to rebuilding Modesto through imaginative and forward thinking solutions to Modesto’s livability issues. Collaborating with the Modesto Art Museum, artists Jessica Gomula and Christian Hali will lead others in creating dynamic and imaginative responses to Modesto’s ranking as the most unlivable city in the country, and will help others envision how we can return to our earlier notoriety, and beyond. Our goal is to con­front the area’s poverty of imag­i­na­tion by using art — video, archi­tec­ture, design, and game­play — to inspire cre­ativ­ity and help solve the area’s many urban problems.

Community members are invited to contribute to the project by joining the //Building Imagination Alternate Reality Game or by posting comments and sending emails, images, videos and/or postcards to the Modesto Art Museum.

The Alter­nate Real­ity Game

Building upon predecessors such as World With­out Oil and Urgent EVOKE, //BUILDINGIMAGINATION: the ARG is an alter­nate real­ity event, a seri­ous game in chang­ing the world for the pub­lic good. It invites every­one to help re-imagine a future for Modesto, or any­where else in the world. Peo­ple par­tic­i­pate by con­tribut­ing orig­i­nal sto­ries, images, and video, cre­at­ing new visions with every word. The goal of the social net­work game is to help empower peo­ple all over the world, and espe­cially peo­ple in Modesto, to come up with cre­ative solu­tions to our most urgent social problems. The game places value on player-created com­mu­ni­ties, col­lab­o­ra­tive stories, and col­lec­tive efforts. Each con­tri­bu­tion helps the game arrive at a larger truth. No team of experts knows bet­ter than a given indi­vid­ual what effect an influx of imag­i­na­tion could have upon that individual’s life and community, or what action he or she will take to spur it for­ward. Personal reac­tions to our sim­u­lated influx of imag­i­na­tion, placed in con­text with many other points of view, will help us all real­ize what’s at stake in our community.

The Video Series

The video series is struc­tured around the city’s offi­cial slo­gan “Water, Wealth, Con­tent­ment, Health” and explores the city’s liv­abil­ity issues pri­mar­ily through its archi­tec­ture and urban design. While the videos doc­u­ment the city’s archi­tec­ture and design, they are pri­mar­ily expres­sive and exper­i­men­tal in their poetic inter­pre­ta­tions of each topic, with live video incor­po­rated into the instal­la­tions. Accord­ing to the Amer­i­can Insti­tute of Archi­tects, archi­tec­ture and urban design offer a pow­er­ful per­spec­tive for explor­ing and find­ing reme­dies for a city’s liv­abil­ity issues. We have cho­sen this per­spec­tive to high­light the arts and their unique con­tri­bu­tion to explor­ing the area’s deep seated urban prob­lems. The per­spec­tive also focuses on art and artists as agents of change, and builders of the community.


Infinite Transformations of Desire

  • April 14- May 9, 2008
  • Reception: Wednesday, April 30, 6:30-8:00pm

Jessica Gomula is a nationally acclaimed new media artist with a prolific exhibition record. Jessica creates interactive new media installations based upon the sexual aspects of our culture. Generating an intelligent dialog about sex by combining direct visual imagery, interactivity, playfulness, and humor, Jessica's work explores ephemeral sexual cultures, the private spaces around erotic activities, and how these spaces move through and change with time. Jessica Gomula is a faculty member of the Department of Art at California State University, Stanislaus.


Updated: May 30, 2023