Lin Ke’s interactive ‘Art Book’: where printed matter meets augmented reality

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In 2016 Lin Ke 林科 released a book via Tria publishing that presents a chronological overview of his output from 2010-2016.  As an artist Lin is known for innovative works which explore the impact of digital technology and computer operating systems on contemporary art and visual culture. Integrating images culled from social media platforms with playful subversions of standard software packages and graphical user interfaces, his practice employs screen recording software and programming code to blur the boundaries between real and virtual spaces.

After graduating from the China Academy of Art’s New Media Department (now the School of Intermedia Art) in 2008, Lin began a series of video works which were created without the use of a video camera. Capturing the mundane real-time actions governing artistic creation in the computer age, many feature the artist interacting with his laptop. We view these videos via the computer’s own camera, controlled from a distance with the use of a touchpad as the artist records his own movements to music.

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The resulting mirrored images, with their spectral layering of open windows, screen savers and desktop detritus present us with unsettling self-portraits of the digital age. As we increasingly experience life mediated by digital devices, they reinforce not only the reality of spending eight hours a day staring blankly at our computer screens but also the incursion of these virtual environments beyond the computer frame, personifying the uncanny possibility of a machine that can return our gaze.  Continue reading

The dividing point between ‘zombie social activism’ and artistic mobilisation

In an article that appeared recently on artnet news, Daria Daniel asked Is a new artistic activism emerging via social media and forms of public protest? The article focuses on international art groups who have created works in response to recent social and political crises, from a collective of Mexican artists who posed naked in public spaces to demonstrate against recent student killings to Titus Kaphar and Hank Willis Thomas’ artistic reaction to the Ferguson protests as well as the outpouring of political cartoons and visual tributes which emerged following the Charlie Hebdo Attacks.

Titus Kaphar Yet Another Fight for Rememberance .  Photo: time.com

Titus Kaphar, ‘Yet Another Fight for Remembrance’
Photo: time.com

Illustration by graphic designer Lucille Clerc.  Photo: businessinsider.com

Illustration by graphic designer Lucille Clerc.
Photo: businessinsider.com

 

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A Wall: art and the online public sphere in China

'A Wall' is a web-based platform curated by Zheng Bo for The Space.

‘A Wall’ is a web-based platform curated by Zheng Bo for The Space.

On the 30th January I attended the launch of A Wall, a web based platform which aims to exhibit and archive a selection of socially engaged art produced within mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan over the last twenty years. The project is curated by Zheng Bo 郑波, a practicing artist and assistant professor at the School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong, and will be hosted by The Space, an online gallery for contemporary digital arts.

Artworks featured in A Wall include:

Keepers of the Waters, organised by Betsy Damon, with works by Yin Xiuzhen, Dai Guangyu and others, Sichuan and Tibet, 1995-96

Moving Rainbow, Xiong Wenyun, Sichuan-Tibet and Qinghai-Tibet Highways, 1998-2001

Everyone’s East Lake, Li Juchuan, Li Yu and others, Wuhan, 2010

Breakfast at the Plum Tree Creek, Wu Mali, Taiwan, 2010-11

Style of the Northeastern New Territories, Tai Ngai Lung and others, Hong Kong, since 2009

Two Square Metres, Xu Tan, Guangzhou, 2014

Xiong Wenyun, Moving Rainbow, Sichuan-Tibet and Qinghai-Tibet Highways, 1998-2001

Xiong Wenyun, Moving Rainbow, Sichuan-Tibet and Qinghai-Tibet Highways, 1998-2001

As the press release states: “The issues explored in A Wall are diverse. Each project is an individual investigation into one aspect of China’s social fabric,  from Li Juchuan’s consideration of the rise of the individual and decline of the collective subconscious, to Xiong Wenyun, Wu Mali and Tai Ngai Lung’s investigations into the impact of globalisation, over-development and urbanisation.” Continue reading