Mutamorphosis|Tribute to Uncertainty: From Data Immersion to the Continuity of Art and Technology in China [Prague]
From Data Immersion to the Continuity of Art and Technology in China
A presentation for the conference “Mutamorphosis|Tribute to Uncertainty” International conference (Dec.6-8, 2012) in Prague, Czech Republic based on Chinese artist Xu Wenkai (aka. Aaajiao)’s project, Cloud.data
Duration: 15 minutes
Introduction of Cloud.data
The installation we see on the screen was created by Chinese artist Aaajiao, a project commissioned by the Creator’s Project in 2009.
12 flat and cold screens simulate a small region of dark sky, but in the other way this matrix can contain a boundless 3-dimension skies of a digital reality. Clouds generated by the artist’s computing language are seen flying over the screens…
By creating this work, the artist asked: “… how do we feel the textile dimension, the color, or even temperature…of a virtual object? Apparently, we very much rely on the knowledge understanding of the technology application, but maybe in the not far future, a sixth sense will finally be stimulated in human body to deal with the cyber reality.”
Introduction of the artist
In 2010, Aaajiao with his technical support and computer graphic designer worked out together the Cloud.data app. The work was shown as an iPad installation.
As we all know, the term of “Cloud” comes from the “Cloud computing” which is the use of computing resources (hardware and software) that are delivered as a service over a network (typically the Internet). The name comes from the use of cloud-shaped symbol as an abstraction for the complex infrastructure it contains in system diagrams. Cloud computing entrusts remote service with a user’s data, software and computation. In Aaajiao’s installation, the “Cloud” became dreams that we can display or write from the tip of our fingers on an iPad screen: a new way of writing and dreaming at the same time.
Since the birth of the Internet, our world was overwhelmed by data; our mind, behaviour and communication model were re-shaped by the increasingly improving online facilities. We try to escape from our computer that pulls us into the immense, endless data world in order to keep the lifestyle that we truly enjoy. As Aaajiao once stated: “I think, I’m different from those artists in China who try to use their work to represent the phenomenon of society or the reflections of their minds. I tend to focus on the interaction of people and new lifestyles.”
Aaajiao is one of these nerds in China. In fact, a whole generation of young artists in the country is emerging from underneath, imposing their identity, passion, and dream on the conservative mainstream art world, search for new life styles by constantly blurring the borders between art, science and technology. They are engineers, scientists, software designers, programmers, hackers, bloggers… they are also artists, musicians, dancers, fashion designers, filmmakers, novelists… They decode and recompose together the contemporary China, its society, culture and people, online or offline, in between the real and virtual worlds both built by themselves. They are the “Context Providers” for the evolution of art and technology in China, what they are creating is “Culture”, but no more “Art”.
In his current project “Cloudlist”, Aaajiao and his team members spent hundreds of hours to interview a huge number of artists both from China and abroad. The messages of these artists will be stored into an online space, then presented under the form of an architectural installation. When people touch this building or step inside it, these messages will change according to their movements: another way to archive the history of contemporary art in China, thus to lead to a continuity full of hope.