2019 Oct-Loft Creative Festivalcuratorial Statement
Bruce Bo Ding
Technology is a tool, but it’s not merely so; it is also hardly neutral, but in a constant “action-
and-reaction” relationship with individuals, history and society. The exhibition “Fun Palace”
takes an unrealized architecture project designed by Cedric Price as a point of departure, and goes on to exercise and reflect on the newly acquired freedom engendered by technological development. It underlines the role of human being as questioner and seeks to re-initiate the discussion on the externality of technology in response to the various myths around technology now.
On the reality level, a trend that mixes techno-optimism and post-humanism may lead us to a new “crisis” in the understanding of and reaction to technology: it thinks that the public only
has a passive position in the process of technological development, and that technology, like
the wheel of history in a determinist sense, will move forward no matter what. In a time when
“artificial intelligence” and “automation” have turned from imagination into reality, the future
of technology seems to be increasingly inhuman. The sense of powerlessness when facing technology comes partly from the legitimization of the present by the aspired future, and partly from the rupture in the relation between technology itself and its tangible representation. We tend to focus only on what technology is willing to display, while conveniently neglecting the structure and logic underneath and its external impacts.
Maybe, the unexamined technology is not worth having; maybe, the future of technology is
not a product, but a place and a way to live with technology. The works and researches shown here will, from their own perspectives, respond to and expand the question raised by the exhibition, encouraging the audiences to reflect upon their own relationship with technology and its hidden mechanism.
1、One Hundred Thousand People Staring at Their Mobile Phones ,Coca Dai
3、White Mountain ,Emma Charles
4、T ,Shuang Li
5、Datafiction ,Marco Buetikofer & Lotte Meret Effinger
6、The New Organs, Tega Brain&Sam Lavigne
7、No Place to Place: The Wonders of Shared Bicycle Graveyards in China,Guoyong Wu
8、Fractal Memory , Sheryl Cheung
9、Kasiterit , Riar Rizaldi
10、Training Pose ,Sam Lavigne
11、Sunshine, Torridness, Humidity , Zhenhao Shi
12、Pyramids and Parabolas I , Alice Wang
13、886 Boylston Street, Boston, MA, United States , Qing Zhang
14、Microkingdom ,Gabriele de Seta & Michelle Proksell
15、Untitled ,Alice Wang
16、Opposite the Zoo is the Planetarium ,Qing Shi
17、The Arrogant Judge ,Yingting Cui
One Hundred Thousand People Staring at Their Mobile Phones
Digital photos, Dimensions variable, 2012-2019
Mobile phones play multiple roles in modern society. They are not only main contact tools which connecting people, but also a key carrier for personal life, entertainment and commercial activities.
I shot 100,000 people who were watching mobile phones in dimensions of different situations, time periods and distances, to reveal the same behavioral pattern shared by people of different races, groups and professions; therefore, it suggests the snatch of time, vigor and emotions of mankind by modern tools.
Coco Dai is a visual artist born in Wuyuan, Jiangxi. He has been nominated by Three Shadows Photography Award and Jimei x Arles Discovery Award. His works have been exhibited in Museum of Contemporary Art Shanghai and Contemporary Art Museum Kumamoto, covered by media like BBC, New York Times and Voice of Germany, and collected by White Rabbit Gallery in Sydney. His signature works include Judy Zhu, One Home, Three Decades and New York.
A smartphone from AIpple Company, waiPhone is a Developmental Product which is designed rooted in developmental psychology. It will be in a“state of infant ”after initialization, users need to accumulate companionship so that its different functional modules grow mature. Distinguished from the instant satisfaction that common goods offer to their consumers, waiPhone requires its users to obtain complete product by going through the developing process, which is not reversible, and of its different phases the corresponding functions will gradually disappear or change.
Aiwu lives and works in Shanghai. His work focuses on the continual disintegration of the biological, spiritual, and social nature of people in the modern era, and the behavioral response of human beings in the face of unstoppable forces. Through the works, some kind of exhaustive imaginary images are used to experience the individual consciousness in the critical and torrent, and the theme is expressed by various media such as sculpture, video, installation and performance.
16mm transferred to HD video, 20 mins 56 seconds, 2013
White Mountain is a 16mm docu-fiction film focusing on the Pionen data centre.Starting by surveying the rough topography of the surrounding Södermalm landscape, the film gradually pushes beneath the surface, illuminating the ordinarily concealed network infrastructure.
This former Cold War era civil defence bunker was redesigned by architect Albert Frances-Lanord in 2008 into a data centre, housing servers for clients which once included WikiLeaks and PirateBay. Located 30 meters under the granite rocks of Vita Bergen Park in Stockholm, the subterranean data centre has been designed with direct references to science fiction films such as‘Silent Running’. Part Bond villain lair, part retro-futuristic spaceship, fish and lush greenery coexist alongside the flashing lights of the data storage systems. Playing on the science fiction aesthetic and with poetic narration written by Jussi Parikka, White Mountain uncovers the link between digital devices, geological materials and deep time or geologic time. Gathering vibrational and electromagnetic sound from the rock face above the data center as well as deep inside the server room itself, a soundscape has been created both revealing and processing the reverberations of the hidden environment.
Emma Charles is a London-based artist and filmmaker. Working with experimental
approaches to moving image and sound, her research based practice navigates the field of non-fiction while engaging with recurring themes of technology, capitalism and landscape.Playing with the blurred lines between documentary and fiction, her work often reveals the artificiality of both the filmic environment and our lived experience. She has exhibited at Serpentine Galleries and ICA London; HKW, Berlin and Jeu de Paume, Paris. She has also screened her films at Sheffield Doc/Fest, East End Film Festival, Architecture Film Festival London, Abandon Normal Devices and Impakt Festival.
Emma was nominated for the New Talent Award for her film‘White Mountain’at Sheffield Doc/Fest in 2017. She is the recipient of a 2015 and 2017 Arts Council England award, British Council UK-China Connections Through Culture grant and The Elephant Trust fund. Charles’ films are held in two museum collections at Guangdong Museum of Art in China and The ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe in Germany. Emma holds an MA in Photography from the Royal College of Art.
4 channel video, 15′17″ ，2017-2018
Music ：Eli Osheyack
Starting from the imagery of “feet,” Li subtly interweaves a “straight male’s”（often refers as sexist ) experience as a customer service representative of a Taobao (Chinese ebay) women socks online retailer, reminiscent self-narrations, internet slangs, and cultural symbols. Through the non-linear narratives and fragmented visuals, the film exposes the stereotypes imposed onto sexuality within the familial and social constructs, and its performativity in a virtual, suppositional world.
Shuang Li is an artist and writer based in Shanghai. Graduated with a MA in Media Studies from New York University in 2014, she is most interested in the power of “medium as massage” , especially caught in issues of post-colonialism and globalization. She has had solo exhibitios at Open Forum, Berlin (2019), SLEEPCENTER, New York City (2018), and has shown works in Tai Kwun Contemporary, Hong Kong (2018), Center of Pompidou in collaboration with Mao Jihong Foundation, Chengdu (2018), Taikang Space, Beijing (2018), Flux Factory, New York (2017), N3 Gallery, Beijing (2017), We Won’t be Young Forever, curated by Biljana Ciric (2016), k11 chi art
museum ，Shanghai (2016), Lab 47, Beijing (2016), Oberlin College, Oberlin (2015) , Gu Cang Contemporary Center of Image, Lanzhou (2014) and etc. Her upcoming solo show will be held at Peres Projects, Berlin in 2020.
experimental video game, 2019
Soundtrack: 33EMYBW, Aleksei Podat, ASJ, noctilucents, Sabiwa, Stasya, Wanton Witch
Interviews with Agnieszka Roguski, Baruch Gottlieb, David Rudrauf, Stephanie Holl-Trieu
Engineering / Sounddesign: Christian Berkes
Speaker / Sprecher*innen: Jeff Yiu, Johanna Schaefer, Jessica Segall, Jo Wanneng, Megan Hogan
Copy Editing / Lektorat: Miriam Stoney
Technology seems like a tool of the enforcement of established power structures, but it also reflects our society and the history that created it. We are in a state of realization about the complexity of our environment and the scope of the consequences of our actions. The changing of societies on local and global scales requires new attempts at critically negotiating identity, politics and power relations in the production of technology.
The experimental video game Datafiction aims to explore an alternative narration about the effects of data-production and consumption. Role-playing as an immaterial digital entity, the players will flow through protocols, software and data-centers encountering personal memories, fragments of research material, music and spam that constitutes a scattered narrative. Datafiction wants to contribute to a critical debate that is embedded in social constructions and emotional experiences and which demands constant re-navigation with the help of different perspectives: author and curator Agnieszka Roguski speaks about modes of self-expression in the digital society; psychologist and neuroscientist David Rudrauf describes his current research, a mathematical model of embodied consciousness; media artist Baruch Gottlieb and researcher Stephanie Holl-Trieu revisit their study of cyber intelligence and civil societies by comparing developments in China and in the West.
Datafiction is an interdisciplinary group project in favor of collaboration in the age of globalization and digitization. It was initiated by Marco Buetikofer and Lotte Meret Effinger and involved the music producers 33EMYBW, Aleksei Podat, ASJ, noctilucents, Sabiwa, Stasya and Wanton Witch for the soundtrack. They are activists in virtual communities who utilize new tools to fight for a cultural exchange beyond the political constraints of nation-states.
Marco Buetikofer & Lotte Meret Effinger
Marco Buetikofer (CH) and Lotte Meret Effinger (DE) works by multi- and interdisciplinary, their collaborations include video productions, installations and performances. At the center of their artistic practice is the analysis of digital technologies and its effect on society and economic dynamics. The artist duo creates spaces in which mechanical and biological life meet to explore the boundaries between the digital and the physical environment.
The New Organs
Website, archival ink on paper, single channel video (10’10”) ，1.5m x 8m，2018
Ever had the feeling that the internet knows more about you than you think it should? Perhaps you’ve mentioned something in conversation that later appeared in an online advertisement, or noticed that web content changes based on your physical location. The New Organs gathers, archives and investigates the theories and realities of corporate surveillance. We’ve collected stories about weird online ads — ads that seem to know too much, as well as your theories of why you might be seeing them.
Tega Brain & Sam Lavigne
Tega Brain and Sam Lavigne’s work examines the shifts in behaviors, desires, language and economics catalyzed by computational systems and the internet. In their collaborations they have simulated international organizations, run a real dating service in NYC, and shared the entire Enron email archive with online audiences. Recently works include The New Organs (https://neworgans.net) commissioned by Mozilla, The Good Life (https://enron.email) commissioned by Rhizome and Smell Dating (http://smell.dating) commissioned by Useless Press. Their work has been widely discussed in the media, in places like Marie Claire, The Ellen Show, Art in America, The World Almanac, Slovenian Public Radio and India Today and they have given recent collaborative talks at the New Museum, the Whitney Museum and Sonar. In 2015, the UN filed a complaint with the US Department of State about their work.
No Place to Place: The Wonders of Shared Bicycle Graveyards in China
Bicycle sharing, known as one of China’s “New Four Major Inventions”, has been launched during a period of so-called ‘Mass Innovation and Mass Entrepreneurship’. In May 2015, the first dockless shared bicycles were introduced on the campus of Peking University. The concept behind bicycle sharing, “Green Travel” and“Solving of the Last Mile Traveling Problem”was widely welcomed. In just two years, more than 70 shared bicycle companies had sprung up, and around 27 million shared bicycles had been deployed to major cities with different brands and bright colors. Soon, shared bicycles began to overwhelm public spaces in cities.
Originally the government was laissez-faire about the cluttered streets and even encouraged bicycle sharing. They did not realize the seriousness of the issue until September 2017 when the government started to limit the number of bicycles deployed and placing excessive bicycles in temporary locations. Such hidden locations are hard to be found in cities and have earned the name “shared bicycle graveyard”. Many shared bicycle companies have therefore closed down, leaving only a few companies still operating. Billions of Chinese Yuan of user deposits cannot be refunded, and shared bicycles costing tens of billions of Yuan are abandoned and become urban garbage.
Since January 2018, the photographer has traveled throughout the country to multiple cities that were occupied by shared bicycles. He has investigated more than 50 shared bicycle graveyard, using aerial photography, local shooting, VR, video, audio and other multi-media methods to record this social wonder.
On the morning of July 26, 2018, Sohu.com published these photos and videos, which immediately triggered the crazy forwarding of Chinese and foreign medias. The number of hits on the Internet was hundreds of millions. Thousands of citizens posted comments on the Internet and it became a phenomenon level of propagation events.
In a mess after the storm, people start to think about various deep-seated problems in current development pattern driven by China’s capital interests.
It is not just the shared bicycles having no place to go, but also our obsession, our dreams of wealth and the hearts of each of us in the context of times.
Born in Xiangyang, Hubei, once a hydraulic engineer, Wu went south to make a living in Shenzhen by his specialties. He currently lives in the same city and works as a freelance photographer.
1 Shenzhen River series, Domestic Invitation Exhibition of the 7th DIPE Dali International Photography Festival (2017.8).
2 Drug Plots in Life and Death, Drug Detoxification of Teenagers Story series, Permanent Exhibition at Huizhou Qixing Drug Control and Education Base, 2017 ~.
3 No place to place
2018 Inter Art Center New Documentaries Prize and Inter Alpa Funding Award of Documentary Image Award. 2018 Lianzhou Foto Festival Independent Exhibition. A finalist for the 2019 (11th) Three Shadows Photography Award. 2019.09-2020.08 (SNCF) Paris L’hôtel des Invalides Subway Station Exhibition. 2019 Phnom Penh International Photography Festival (PPP) Exhibition. 2018 “Vision of the year” Tencent Media Award 2018 ThePaper.cn news Vision Award. On-list Works of the 6th Chinese Photography Annual Ranking
Multimedia installation，Dimensions variable，2019
As a collaboration by Sheryl Cheung and Xia Lin, this project extends the authors’ ongoing engagement and attunement of natural, industrial and electronic ambiances, as a long term shared effort to trace a new cosmic ontology and allegory of contemporary society. In this work, we listen to the corrupted mechanical movements of a collection of malfunctioned hard drives from the past 17 years. Their inner movements, gestural traces and physical memory reveal an invisible soundscape of inner life.
Sheryl Cheung’s artistic practice concerns inner sound-the sound feedback generated by the motion of matters, which she uses as a medium of inferring and creating to extract a subjective world. Her on-going projects attempt to comprehend the interpretation of Asian medical systems to human body.
Raised in a multicultural background, connecting her life with multiple perspectives and emotional identification of several ethic groups, Cheung listens to the sound from different worlds to search for space that enlightens communication and adjustment. She was invited for residence creating to regions like China, Thailand, Korea, Britain, and received overseas resident funds from Hong Kong Gallery in 2018. Her works have been published at the Bangkok Biennale, Somerset House Studio, Asia Meeting Festival, and Infiltration Art Festival. Moreover, she is the co-founder of the art project lololol.net, and her current collaborative project Future Tao is working on exploring the contemporary landscape of mind and body technology developed by Taoism.
Video installation, environment，fabric screen, iPhones，Varied dimension，2019
Kasiterit (the film): one channel HD video file: 18′22″
Kasiterit (extended): two channels HD video files: 06 ″and 21 ′ 38″
Researched, filmed, and recorded on Bangka island in the Indonesian archipelago, Kasiterit is a video installation that explores the complex entanglement of tin with contemporary technology and the labour dynamics on the island. Branded as one of the major exporters of tin in the world, Bangka’s tin represents one-third of the global tin supply. Due to its low melting point and high electrical conductivity, tin is an instrumental foundation in all electronic apparatus and every digital screen. In Kasiterit, Riar traces the materiality of tin from the mine to the museum, from the tension between communities, politics, and mining, to the geophysics that shapes the daily life of human and nonhuman life on the island. From the moment it is extracted from the soil until it ends buried as e-waste back in the earth, tin travels around the globe as an actant that shapes our dependency on technological apparatus. There is a little piece of Bangka island in everyone’s pocket.
Riar Rizaldi works as an artist and researcher. Born in Indonesia and currently based in Hong Kong. His main focus is on the relationship between capital and technology, extractivism, and theory-fiction. Through his works, he questions the notion of (a)temporality, image politics, materiality, media archaeology and unanticipated consequences of technologies. He is also actively composing and performing sonic-fiction using the methods of field recording and foley through programming language. Riar has also curated ARKIPEL Jakarta International Documentary & Experimental Film Festival — Penal Colony (2017) and Internet of (No)Things (2018) at Jogja National Museum. His works have been shown at Locarno Film Festival, BFI Southbank London, NTT InterCommunication Center Tokyo, and National Gallery of Indonesia amongst others.
Microsoft’s COCO dataset contains 220,000 tagged images which were originally from Flickr and then marked and annotated by staff of Amazon Mechanical Turk. The artist uses the program to randomly filter pictures with daily life scenes from the database and learns the postures of the characters in them. When the being-imitated pose is determined to be the same as the one of the character, the program will take a photo.
The purpose of the project is to be used as training materials for numerous machine learning systems, that is, to achieve up-to-date Object Recognition by “collecting images of complex everyday scenes that bear common objects from natural environment”.
OpenPose is one of those systems which can predict human body postures from stationary images.
In this work, I am at random choosing the primary COCO images from the training system to match my postures. The python scripts select a COCO image and theme by choice for me to simulate, then runs OpenPose to trace my trying to match the postures in real time. Once I make a success (fall in the threshold), the system will automatically shoot a photo and then superimpose it on the original one.
Sam Lavigne is an artist and educator. Involving data, surveillance, police, natural language processing and automation, his works has been shown at Lincoln Center, SFMOMA, Pioneer Project, DIS, Ars Electronica, New Museum, and Smithsonian Museum of American Art, and also been covered by medias like New Yorker, Washington Post, Guardian, Motherboard, Wired, The Atlantic Monthly, Forbes, NPR, San Francisco Chronicle, The World Almanac, and Alan Show.
He once taught at ITP / NYU, The New School and Poetic Computation, worked as a Magic Grant researcher in Brown Faculty of Columbia University and an editor of the Special Projects for New Inquiry magazine.
Sunshine, Torridness, Humidity
Installment, Stainless steel bars, Corrugated aluminum board, Cardboard, Dried palm leaves, Dried Chinese fan palm leaves, Dimensions variable，One channel video, color, audible, 5′ ， 2019
By chance, I have toured several cities in Southeastern Asia in recent years. Being around with familiar sunshine, torridness and humidity, open buildings, awnings stretching out to the streets, and people who pillows their doorsteps sleeping deeply on dirt, stimulated my interest in Tropical Architecture. It responds directly to the relationship between land, climate, and southern life; it is about people and life without choice, about the possibility of imagining another kind of life.
Where exactly does South in the term Southern Life point at? For me, South not a geographic concept , but relationship between man and space, the logic of redetermining the boundary of space. As our bodies synchronized with urbanization Refurbishment, we build in an imagined geography, live in an imagined climate, and survive in megalopolis beyond tropics, temperate and polar climate. How to re-adapt to and re-acknowledge the climate in this land, from my perspective, is a question against contemporary cities. It always confuses me that whether my body, when confronting the outdoor subtropical heat and dampness in Guangzhou, has turned to be unable to get along with this land. Just like once be accustomed to the coolness and coziness in air-conditioned environment, one will hate his sweating, sticky and heavy body in the burning Sun. So, ignore the heat and dampness, shut the doors and windows, switch on your electrical appliances, then you can live in a quiet man-made climate box. It is a sort of abstinence reaction caused by excessive reliance on modern cities, I suppose. I have just forgotten how it was to live with the land under the shield of urban life.
Born in 1989, currently based in Guangzhou. Shi graduated with a Bachelor degree in Oil-painting from Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts in 2012. From 2012 to 2013, he was a researcher at Huangbian Station, then a fellow of Fong Fo Monthly. He regards writing as a sort of action that not only confined to texts, but also linked with operation; that is, a structured weaving process. He uses text, installation and video as medium to develop composite narratives in space. Interested in words and the social relationship behind them, he has attempted to reshape the psychological distance between individuals and things, in order to respond to inevitable loneliness under the overwhelming impacts of terms like “capital”,“politics”and“youths”.
Past exhibitions include:
Fong Fo Studio City (Tai Kang Space – Light Pavilion Project, Beijing,2017); Peaceful Night/The Moon and Sixpence (J: Gallery,Shanghai,2016); Two bedrooms, one living room, one kitchen and one bathroom (Am Art Space, Shanghai, 2014);Everything distracts me (Huang Bian Station Project Lab,Guangzhou,2013);You are a letter, I am a postman (HB Station Project Lab ,Guangzhou,2013).
Fong FO: Extra (Hessel Museum of Art,New York,2019); Travel Agency II(Guangzhou,2019); Chongqing Forest (The Galaxy Museum of Contemporary Art,Chongqing,2018); Fiction Art ( Shenzhen Pavilion,OCT Contemporary Art Terminal ，Shenzhen,2018);Indoor Universe (Huayu Art Center,Sanya,2017); Backlight:Sampling Two Cities (Frank F. Yang Art and Education Foundation,Shenzhen,2017); State of the South (N3 Gallery,Beijing,2017); Precariat’s Meeting (McaM,Shanghai,2017); Toward the Emergence of Resistance (Tai Kang Space,Beijing,2016); Yung Shue Tau Travel Agency (Yung Shue Tau Space,Guangdong Times Art Museum,Guangzhou, 2016); Deputy Director Plan (Xi’an Art Museum,Xi’an,2015); Call Me Ash (Xi’an Pavilion,OCT Contemporary Art Center,Xi’an,2015); Institution Production (Guangdong Art Museum,Guangzhou,2015); Forward! Contemporary Art and Contemporary City (Shanghai Minsheng Art Museum,Shanghai,2013).
Pyramids and Parabolas I
16mm transferred to HD video 6’38″，2019
Camera: Alice Wang & Ben Tong
Sound Design: Luke Fischbeck
What if geometry were an extraterrestrial technology that humans accidentally discovered long ago to communicate with other worlds? What do Mesoamerican pyramids have in common with radio telescopes? Besides electromagnetic transmissions from outer space, fire balls also occasionally penetrate the Earth’s atmosphere — as one did over the morning skies of Russia on February 15, 2013 that plunged into the city of Chelyabinsk. Weaving together scenes from the movie Contact with 16mm footage shot at the Very Large Array — the radio astronomy observatory in New Mexico, as well as three Mayan pyramids across the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico—Calakmul, Uxmal, and Cobá, Pyramids and Parabolas I is the first of a multi-episodic film series that imagines how geometric forms can function as portals into parallel dimensions. The parabolic shape of modern day radio telescopes—made to listen to signals emitted by celestial objects and events, and similarly the pyramidal shapes of ancient Mayan monoliths—where priests communed with forces beyond the human realm, can both be understood as ways of transiting into alternate universes. As the disembodied voice at the end of the first episode asks: “Is any body out there?”
Alice Wang (b. 1983 Xi’an, China) received a B.S. in Computer Science and International Relations from the University of Toronto, a BFA from the California Institute of the Arts, and a MFA from New York University. She was a fellow at the Université Paris 1 Panthéon- Sorbonne, a Villa Aurora fellow in Berlin, and the recipient of several major grants from the Canada Council for the Arts. Wang has presented solo exhibitions at Capsule Shanghai, Visitor Welcome Center, Human Resources, 18th Street Arts Center; participated in group exhibitions, screenings and performances at the K11 Art Foundation, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibition, Armory Center for the Arts, the Moscow Museum of Modern Art, Taikang Space, FLAX Foundation, the Hammer Museum; and presented talks at the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Chronus Art Center, and Shanghai Project. She is an assistant professor of arts at New York University Shanghai, and co-organizes The Magic Hour, an exhibition platform in Twentynine Palms, California. Wang is based between Los Angeles and Shanghai.
Surveillance video, iron, projection screen, projector
370(H)*380(W)*380cm 21 minutes 20 seconds
Edition of 1 + 1AP，2016
The artist visited the location where the surveillance cameras implanted and captured the criminal suspects one year after Boston Marathon bombing. He filmed several footage of street scenes from the exact angles of the original surveillance cameras. Continually, passers-by who appeared in terrorist suspect characters (wearing a hat) were circled in the video.
In the work, when the historical accident is being relocated in a mundane scene, everyone will be categorized according to conditions in a context of monitoring. With the work’s referring to specific groups of people by monitoring, the viewers gain security assurance but unconsciously and forcedly exchange their collective privacy.
We’re being monitored right now.
Were we all suspected?
Born in 1977, Qing Zhang is one of the prominent Shanghai experimental artists, who now works and lives in Shanghai. Earlier engaged with performance art of absurdity and humorous violence, then evolved into a sophisticated interpretation of video and installation, his work articulates the blurred boundary and route between reality and fiction, absurdity and reasonableness. Quoted from Harald Szeemann, “Vehicles bordering on the absurd – that is the strength of Qing Zhang. At the same time he is concerned with defaulting perception by the way of exaggeration.” Since 2006, Qing Zhang has deployed the perspective of surveillance as his artistic language until now through the study of video, installation and mixed media. He manoeuvres these differentiated medium, techniques and rendering methods for his individualistic perception and contemplation of art .
Important exhibitions include:
Power Forward-VisArts Emerging Curator Program, Kaplan Gallery, USA (2018); Energy Field-Transmedia ART Exhibition, Museum of Contemporary Art, Shanghai (2017);
Boundary, ShanghART Gallery and H-Space, Shanghai; Archive 44: Zhang Qing, Video Bureau, Beijing / Guangzhou (2015);Move on Asia, Video art in Asia 2002-2012, ZKM Media Museum, Germany (2013); China Onscreen Biennial, Los Angeles and Washington D.C., USA (2012); Abandon Normal Devices Festival 2011, FACT, Liverpool, U.K. (2011);cctv – ZHANG Qing Solo Exhibition, ShanghART H-Space, Shanghai (2011);Room without a View, Freies Museum Berlin, Berlin, Germany (2010); Don’t Go So Fast, Zhang Qing Solo Exhibition, ShanghART Beijing, Beijing (2009); Trans Local Motion – 7th Shanghai Biennale in 2008, Shanghai Art Museum, Shanghai (2008) ,etc; In 2004, he received the CCAA Honorary Award for Contemporary Art.
Mobile phones, phone stand, mirrors，2019
In 2014, Tencent’s WeChat app introduced a function called “Sights”, that allowed users to shoot and share video loops of up to six seconds of length. People across China embraced this new content format and short video clips started circulating across chat groups and personal feeds. Most of these micro-videos documented scenes of everyday life, offering an unprecedented mosaic of ordinary activities and events across the nation. This surge of micro-videos also raised increasingly pressing ethical questions, as the circulation of gruesome accidents, natural catastrophes, violent episodes and pornographic materials pushed the boundaries of acceptability and accountability. Drawing on a long-term collection of these short video clips, “Microkingdom” is an audio-visual installation that remediates the iconic 3-by-3 grid of WeChat Moments in order to present a curated thematic selection of user-generated cinematography from China. By juxtaposing of mundane scenes with performative activities and social events with individual creativity, “Microkingdom” evidences the peculiar materiality of WeChat micro-videos and their circulation as found footage, encouraging reflection on the future development of vernacular digital video-making.
Gabriele de Seta & Michelle Proksell
Gabriele de Seta is a media anthropologist. He holds a PhD in Sociology from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University and was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute of Ethnology, Academia Sinica in Taipei. His research work, grounded on ethnographic engagement across multiple sites, focuses on digital media practices and vernacular creativity in China. He is also interested in experimental music scenes, internet art, and collaborative intersections between anthropology and art practice. More information is available on his website http://paranom.asia.
Michelle Proksell (b. Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, 1985) holds a Master of Science in the Cultures of Art, Science and Technology from Maastricht University’s Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. She is also an artist, researcher, and curator, having produced exhibitions and performed in North America, China, Malaysia, Australia, and Europe. As an artist she works with video, sound, performance, the Internet and her ongoing Chinternet Archive – a collection of vernacular digital artefacts from the Chinese Web. She is most interested in technology and its relationship to human behaviour and social interactions. She is the founder of Netize.net—an archive documenting art and technology in China—and more recently has been exploring the creative, social and phenomenological aspects of Virtual Reality.
Heat, stainless steel. 2019
12 cm in diameter x 10 cm
11 cm in diameter x 10.3 cm
14.5 cm in diameter x 9.6 cm
11 cm in diameter x 10.2 cm
15 cm in diameter x 10.1 cm
11.5 cm in diameter x 10 cm
12 cm in diameter x 10.5 cm
Heat and reflection invade the perceptual field
Kinetic and interactive
The presence and consciousness of a different kind of being
Elemental, alchemical, alien
Opposite the Zoo is the Planetarium
Single Channel Video，74′ ，2018
As functional public space emerged in modern China, Beijing Zoo and Beijing Planetarium have linked tensely with their own modernity process. The zoo is located where the Agricultural Research Faculty of Qing Dynasty was in the earliest days, while the planetarium has first come as a popular science venue under the influences of Soviet Union and Eastern European countries. An era of aggressive development and turnings of human history, the 20th century had witnessed socialist cause in global scale, the Cold War between the East and the West and the expansion of Neo-liberalism, meantime the occurring of space technology, cybernetics and artificial intelligence. These various kinds of description of Objective Reality worlds, however, have triggered new suspicions within us. Jameson warns us to pay attention to the embedded logic beneath this narrative, and also the expectations contained in each historical moment-both of which forcing us to become future archaeologists. Rooted in my own life experience, my works adopt the means of prophecy and sci-fiction to project some sort of cognitive tendency into the past social history, which was once our future.
In this work, the zoo and the planetarium are regarded as a juxtaposition of different time and space, respectively from different outcomes of the resurrecting cause of communism. The cause is still going on, but we live in a parallel universe after another quantum choice. Automated production and A.I., are just Mirror Selves of mankind developed after ours giving up of the “common cause”.
Based in Shanghai, one of the co-founders of Radical Space, Chongqing Work Institute and Studio and Southern Yangtze River Ji Zhan, Qing Shi has organized projects such as Difang Works, Hinterland Project, Shanghai Redux and Write Everything.
Concentrating on self-organization, space producing and technology shifting, Shi’s works weights at art studying, writing and nomadic working methods, advocating entering practical imagination from historical perspectives.
The Arrogant Judge
Pine Wood, Watercolor, Acrylic Sheet, Stainless steel, ABS Resin, Gyroscope, Led Matrix, Arduino Nano, Arduino, Raspberry Pie, Mini PC; Bearing, Wheel Cutter, Stepper Motor, Timing Belt & Wheel, Camera, Cotton Fabric, Tube Sliding, Plastic Tube, Air Compressor, Pressure Pump, Valve, Screw Rod, GRBL CNC shield, Motor Driver, Bluetooth Module, Silicone Roller, Glass, Inkjet Print. 150x240cm，2019
Due to rapid development of machine learning，image，text，movement，question，audio based CAPTCHA ( “Completely Automated Public Turing Test to tell Computers and Humans Apart”) are no longer effective. (Google is currently using reCaptcha which tracking user behavior including mouse movement. Amazon’s new Captcha is meant to fail as human than robot.) The fundamental programming statement which proposed by most existing Captcha is “conditional” (if…else…). If a blind person uses voiceover which unable to read Captcha, is she/he a robot? If someone unable to solve a puzzle or a mathematical question, is she/he not considered as human? (Many proposed gamified Captcha, which interpretation and humor are involved in quizzes. However, humor and interpretation is highly based on an individual’s social and cultural background. In this case, if someone lack of sense of humor, is she/he human?)
This project aims to point out the invisible judgment bias within Captcha. The binary conditional judgement “I am human” is constructed as a key towards any information on Internet. The Arrogant Judge draws profile images of the intended. It gives the intended a biased judgment of their identity using several existing Captcha based questions. The judge responses to answering cube by drawing intended’s profile or straight line. It serves as a window for the intended to realize how they are perceived and defined as human or non-human in the “mechanic” gaze.
Yingting Cui is a cross-media artist whose works mostly driven by social reality. She utilizes photography, sculpture, video, interactive installation, game mechanic as medium to explore the possibility of art and social reality. Through games and gamified approaches, she simulates, deconstructs and reconstructs the reality. She thought listing names of institutions in exhibition catalogue for audience to know her work better is tedious. She left these two sentences in combination as her self description.
Future Tao：Broken line
Sound Installation：Sheryl Cheung
Workshop 16:00-18:00, December 5th–6th,2019
Performance 15:00 , December 7th,2019
How can we deal with the emotional scarring that comes with adapting to tech and why do we like it so much?
Lecturer：Marco Buetikofer& Lotte Meret Effinger
Time：14:00-15:30, December 8th, 2019
From laboratory to ghost animal, a brief history of VOCALOID culture
Time: 14:00-15:30 December 14th,2019
Tin in Your Pocket
Time: 14:00-15:30, December 21st,2019
Sensitive Vectors: Introductory Workshop into Facial Tracking and Emotion Recognition.
Odyssey in the Eggshell
What are we doing with our lives online?
Speaker: Michelle Proksell & Gabriele de Seta
Time: February 22nd,2020
As the open section of this creative festival, the “Precarious Playground” is an impromptu space that can be constantly changed. We encourage all technology-related research and/or discussion regarding the principles and applications of technology. Through an open call, we link people from different fields to redefine how this space could be used. The “Precarious Playground ” could be a game, performance, work, and full participatory interactive space.
” Precarious Playground ” is in the C2 exhibition space, with an area of about 150 square meters, which can be closed or completely open. The form of the space can be changed according to the content of the application.
Supports for the Selected Applicants
Successful applicants will receive the following support:
1. Opportunity to use the ” Precarious Playground ” space for free (the duration depends on their proposal)
2. Feedback from the exhibition team on the application plan
3. OCT-LOFT publicity and promotion on the media platform
All questions and responses to technology and its future are welcome. You could try to address / solve an important social problem by technology, you could organize a reading club on technology; you could use AI to create music or organize concerts; or you could organize meditation workshops that free people from their phones … … we care about how you define your relationship with technology, and how you can share your practice and experience with others.
(All activities that occur in the space are limited to non-profit activities.)
This call is open to everyone, but the minors should participate with the consent of their parents.
1. Individual / Team Introduction
2. Proposal (including project statement, implementation plan, ideas on how to interact with the public, pictures, etc.)
5. Space Usage plan
Application materials should be submitted before 29 February 2020 in one PDF document (saved as “Your Name+Project Name.pdf”to [email protected] with “Precarious Playground+your name”in the subject line, or add WeChat: kiwiap
The selected proposal will be notified and scheduled on a rolling basis.
The Festival will also publish a series of elaborate questions gathered from different practitioners in the field. Instead of answering these questions, practitioners are asked to share their thoughts and experience and to explain the context, reference, history, or evolution of these question. To some extent, the publication tries to reveal the gap between the mechanism and expression of technology, and underline the importance of having more diverse and informed discourses around technology.
Bruce Bo Ding is a curator and artist based in Guangzhou and Shanghai. Ding’s artistic practice has been revolved around the concepts of embodied experience, technological mediation, and alternative modes of organization/production; at the same time, he has been involved in various social practice, and often switches roles to work in different contexts and territories in order to disrupt unnecessary barriers. In 2016, he curated “Mediated Body and Embodied Technologies” at Chronus Art Center. He also co-curated “PARKing: Nature as Data” at Jing’an Sculpture Park Art Center. His works have been shown in various institutions including the Power Station of Art, Shenzhen New Media Art Festival, M21, and Ming Contemporary Art Museum. He is also the founder of Topic Society.
OCT-LOFT is located in the former Eastern Industrial Zone of Shenzhen OCT. The whole area is divided into northern and southern districts, which totally covers an area of approximately 150,000 ㎡, with gross floor area of 200,000 ㎡.
In 2004, we launched the renovation of old industrial plant to transform it into cultural and creative park. Two years later, OCT-LOFT was officially founded. Until year 2011, the whole area was fully opened to the public. At present, there are up to 300 enterprises inside OCT-LOFT.
Guided by three major features as ” creative and design, contemporary art, avant-garde music”, we have organized various cultural and artistic events regularly, such as OCT-LOFT Public Art Exhibition, T-Street Creative Market, OCT-LOFT International Jazz Festival, OCT-LOFT Creative Festival, etc. As one of the most unique cultural & creative parks in Southern China, OCT-LOFT is committed to establishing an innovative industrial system and creating an international ecosystem in which culture, arts, technology and tourism play a significant role.
The Bizarre Unit is an interdisciplinary creative studio. Focus on the cross-over exploration among art, design and technology. Present high-quality contemporary art to the public in various context. The Bizarre Unit de
vote to working with avant artists and promoting contemporary art.
10:00-18:00，closed on Monday
C2 Space, North District, OCT-LOFT, Nanshan District, Shenzhen
深圳华侨城创意文化园 Shenzhen OCT-LOF