The exhibition is an assemblage of four multimedia installations that expand The Oral Logic thread out of Ye’s extensive research on the poetics and politics of human-machine coupling.
Turning the gaze inward on bodily systems, the installations are conceptualized using the cannibalistic metaphor of “eating and being eaten” to contemplate on our dialectic relationships with technology. We as bio-cultural-technological amalgams have always merged our mental activities with the operations of technologies in a broader sense. For example, writing is a technology we use to make sense of ourselves and the world as it reconfigures our consciousness. Having entered the electronic landscape, we, both consumer and feeder devour and chew, digest and absorb electronic culture in all domains. From eating to speaking, from the molecular to the epistemological, our body and psyche are subject to the cybogian economy where massive networks show affective and cognitive agencies and planetary computation is mobilized by the entangled power of political ideologies, economic imbalance, and cultural disparities. It is in such a context where The Oral Logic attempts to question “to what extent would this symbiosis evolve?”
The four installations interweave the The Oral Logic as if our minds already operate as silicon-carbon intelligence hybrids. At the centre of the space located pumping low-frequency sounds, which activate the sculptural diagrams on the wall and animated digestive system mapped with malleable texts. Machine learning algorithms are employed to produce text, sound and image during artist’s process of collaborating with digital bodies.
The metaphor of cannibalism in Brazilian literature and translation theory offers ways to rethink cultural assimilation in colonial and post-colonial conditions. Borrowing the same idea to think about technological incorporation, Ye blends e-wastes with living organisms and proposes “vomit as a method” to redefine and reclaim human agencies in the hyper-control societies.
What Nebula, What Hyperbolic Light, What Flora and Fauna
CG animation (11mins) configured for 18 Christie Digital Microtiles.
Fig.4 installation view at Ellephant, Montreal, Canada, 2019.Video visible from sundown to sunrise in the Charlotte Street window. This project is a co-production with EdVideo realized thanks to the financial support of the Government of Quebec and Ontario.
What Nebula, What Hyperbolic Light, What Flora and Fauna speculates on the idea of “habitat” in the context of technological acceleration and urban sprawl. It uses “garden” as a metaphor for re-imagining an ideal habitat where human, natural and man-made materials coexist. It incorporates interactive poetry, imagined organisms, with repurposed obsolete technology and e-waste. WNWHLWFF is about dwelling in such an accelerated future of landscapes, where the imposed rhythms of existing are bent for a pause or a reflection.
installation views, solo exhibition, Trinity Square Video, Toronto, Canada, 2018
black & metalic gold dual-tone risograph accordion fold, limited edition of 200
Reader’s Guide 2018
metal sculpture, mirror film, giclée print on film, algorithmic composition (2′), animation projection
“… I forget that if what you see is where you go, then all seeing is a censored prophet that fails (because of neurosis or paralysis) to act in accordance with its own oracles.
I forget the efficient linearity of human reading (frustrating; rusty with the will to make sense) and learn the stochastic programmability of the machine (nested recursions: birds in cyborg-synaptic teleport.) I become not apart from the humus of inhuman refuse, the floppy callousness of computer script.
I forget how to chart a course between the gravity of identity (flesh, father, hearth) and the anonymity of the digital.
I forget, rote fig, frig toe. I forget — ego rift — grief to forge it. Heal us, eros of foe grit. O He Fears Soul: I forget sentimentality and open-hearted relatability to forge a new, colder, but no less tender form of subjectivity.
I forget whether Zhuangzi thought voice was the dream of water or water the dream of voice. I barely remember vaporwave — soft subliminality that brought back visions of Sonic the Hedgehog — and the hard limits of nostalgia. I fully remember Freud’s primordial oceanic feeling of being one with the universe; but to feel it here, in the 21st century, means to feel it homelessly: even total unity cannot undo my nomad code.
I forget language like it was the lie of noise…”
— Fan Wu “I Forget, etc. (after X.Y.)”
Et Cetera is woven together with five works that are essentially five bodies of writings as digital poetry — a poetic practice that is made possible by digital media and technology in which aesthetic possibilities are extended through the semantic impact of alphabets, visuals, data, etc. Interlaced by multimedial meaning-making, Et Cetera re(produces) installations that are engineered with utilizing real-time data feeds, animated letterforms, performative instructions and sensory synthesis.
Exploring different scenarios of human-machine coupling that consequently lead to multifarious illegibility, Et Cetera amplifies the noise of information overflow in the concurrent mediascape with its rhizomatic networks that are largely beyond our conscious apprehension. On the B-side, Et Cetera is also involved with writing about the alphabetic writing apparatus, the role of artist as author as human-machine-centaur and the networked subjectivity.