The international platform Rhizome.org, together with New York’s New Museum networking with a series of contemporary art spaces and platforms, has commissioned new net artworks for the Chinese social network WeChat. The works presented in the exhibition were designed and created for the network by exploring the potential of mobile devices. Net Art returns to its primary form, i.e. created and shared on the Internet.
All artists explore the potential of technology, many take ownership of social media platforms. Net Art which, to a certain extent, portrayed the first Internet era, now returns to address the net landscape in its current reconfiguration. Among the commissioned artists, there is also a duo which was among the pioneers of Net Art, Jodi.org, which returns to invade the emotional field online. Net Art is focusing, once again, on topical issues, offspring of the net itself. What was once a world representing an alternative to the real one, a dimension where you could immerse yourself and then return from, is now a new hybrid reality. The virus is a visible manifestation of this, or rather, a tangible symptom. Raphaël Bastide builds a narrative offered in “daily pills” during the quarantine period (starting on March 17 and still ongoing). Aaajia (XU Wenkai) investigates identity issues.
The artist and environmental engineer Tega Brain links her work to the difficult economic state of the American public health system. LI Weiyi turns the spotlight on the language of the media, filters in particular (texts, emoticons, memes) with which we express our emotions. While Evan Roth links us directly with what flows along the wires of Hong Kong’s underwater optical fibres, where they lie on the ground, Slime Engine focuses on the information world, the one that makes our reality concrete.
From Helmut Smits’ community clock, made with the participation of users, to Yangachi’s new idea of surveillance, we come to Ye Funa’s online game, Dr Corona, which is not a virus but a medical artificial intelligence that responds to and solves problems that caused the coronavirus. His body’s emerges in between the lines of the Internet. Once again, works on the net prove to be the ideal narrative tool to describe the world it created.
Curated by ZHANG Ga, Organized by Chronus Art Center
Co-commissioned by Chronus Art Center (Shanghai); Art Center Nabi (Seoul); and Rhizome of the New Museum (New York) Co-hosting Institutions: Chronus Art Center (Shanghai); Art Center Nabi (Seoul); Rhizome of the New Museum (New York); Arts at CERN (Geneva); e-flux (New York); HeK (House of Electronic Arts Basel); iMAL (Brussels); LABORATORIA Art & Science Foundation (Moscow); Leonardo/ISAST; MU Hybrid Art House (Eindhoven); SETI AIR/SETI Institute (Mountain View); V2_Lab for the Unstable Media (Rotterdam).
images: (cover 1)LI Weiyi,«10.27 filters: The Ongoing Moment», 2020 – customized face filters to capture your moment (2) First Look: We = Ling – Logo (3) Tega Brain & Sam Lavigne, «Get Well Soon!», 2020, an archive of 200,000 well-wishes scraped from gofundme, with an accompanying essay on care, language and revolution by Johanna Hedva (4) aaajiao, «WELT», 2020