At Thursday’s opening reception for Under the Influence, a Digital + Media exhibition now at the Gelman Student Exhibitions Gallery, Rebecca Zub 08 IL didn’t expect a prank from one of the exhibition pieces. As she bent down to inspect a seemingly simple wooden chair, it unexpectedly sprayed her with a spritz of water. Jason Rabie MFA 14 DM created the cheeky piece by rigging motion sensors to the seat.

It’s just one of the artworks on display in the many-sided show curated by Janet Shih MFA 14 DM and Chihao Yo MFA 14 DM. Throughout the night, students also couldn’t help but play with another humorous piece, The Selfie Machine, by Dillon Froelich 15 ID, Dan Cho 15 ID, Hala Khoursheed 15 ID and Stef Liu 15 ID (second image from the top). It encourages viewers to snap pictures of themselves with their smartphones.

In a nearby vestibule, a small crowd gathered around Soldier (top image), an imposing metal sculpture Otis Gray 15 SC created in response to the Boston Marathon bombing. On close inspection, the hollow figure appears to be wearing a backwards hat and has an American Eagle logo painted on its shoulder.

“[The piece] is supposed to represent the suspects that were behind the bombing, who looked like normal, typical guys,” notes Gray. “Terrorists could literally be anyone. And that’s what’s scary about these random acts of violence.”

Catch Under the Influence through December 11 at the Gelman Student Exhibitions Gallery (2nd floor/Chace Center).

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