When Gaia Holds Her Breath

“Gaia remains ambiguous. Although James Lovelock, one who proposed the Gaia Hypothesis, gave a definite date for her birth, “Gaia is a quarter as old as time itself.” 1


“She was old, in so much as at the time of her birth, ignorance pervaded like an ocean, and the territory of knowledge was merely scattered islands, the possession of which gave a false sense of certainty,” Lovelock goes on to describe. Although the origin of Gaia is buried deep in the past, she seems to exist more in a modern way: she is associated with the “biosphere” with its temperature-controlling mechanisms, and as the antithesis of “old nature” in Latour’s climate-politics discourse, and is littered with intertwined and indefinable impetus. Latour and Timothy M. Lenton have juxtaposed the “aimless and unconscious” state of Gaia, with careful consideration of human impact in the Anthropocene, a knowledge framework of the Earth system known as “Gaia 2.0”. (Gaia and Anthropocene are, in a sense, have been engraved on the same plate with this discourse). Lovelock himself tried to make “Gaia” more “scientifically” explanatory in the ocean-atmosphere sulfur cycle and the “Daisy World Experiment.” 2and geologists are still searching for the golden nail of the “Anthropocene” in the rock layers 3– whether based on the assumption of “1610” (where CO2 was detected in ice cores in Antarctica) or the “1945” starting points (the first nuclear explosion, also known as the “Great Acceleration”), the qualifying geological signals are so insignificant that the Anthropocene is as nebulous as Gaia from the viewpoint of rock burning.


Both “Gaia” and the “Anthropocene” seem to lack substance and exist with daunting universality. Their arguments are so appealing that one cannot simply overlook them; their state resists “key points,” rejecting “totality” while diffusing various “centers” – or even the lack thereof, hence leading people to a flattened ontological myth. As Alexandre Leskanich puts it, “Its (Gaia’s) content varies, can be heterogeneous, intertwined, indivisible, that one wonders what it offers …… other than a desire for total submersion. We slip into a mass of loops and envelop ourselves in them.” 4More radically, one sometimes reflects on whether the Anthropocene implies that “we pollute the planet equally.”5Thereby erasing the geopolitical differences in the role of different economies and cultures on the planet, or whether it becomes “a snapshot of the modern world’s anxieties.”6 We shift from the geological view of “understanding the past with a key of the present” (Principles of Geology (1833), Charles Lyell) to a perspective of “future being the key to understanding the present.” We are compelled to look at our destruction and demise in the narrative of the Anthropocene at all times.


Whether the aged Gaia who hangs on the skyline of “a quarter of the total length of time”; or one who’s repeatedly upgraded, probed, celebrated, ridiculed, and personified (at times capricious, and others care for people), inhabiting the cognitive space between subjective “world” and the objective “earth,” (In the Dust of This Planet, Eugene Thacker). It is inlaid with geological, biological, and atmospheric evidence, pervasively over this damp planet resisting clarity. When this global pandemic invoked an immediate fear of viral infections, when the fire at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant tightened our airways with looming “nuclear warfare,” and when profound political crises forced us earthbound beings to speak out, “Gaia” seems to have held her breath for a moment. This moment of holding her breath – even only metaphorically – allows us to empathize with Gaia or vice versa. Breathing has become an unconscious act for human beings, simply in the moment of “holding one’s breath,” the pause between taking in and breathing out, that it seems possible to dispatch the real emotions that include worries, awakening, or expectations, about the individual and our shared destiny. The research/cast study project “When Gaia Holds Her Breath” invites five artists, Cao Shuyi, Guo Cheng, Long Pan, Shi Zheng, and Yuhsin Su, to respond to the thoughts mentioned above, unfolding a scene in which extremophiles crawl and swim, copper elements flow silently, infrastructure systems stretch and contract, asphalt drips slowly, human ghosts emerge, and human and non-human appear and disappear.



A Vast Shimmer Spans All: A non-place in staggered time.


The Anthropocene’s “1945 starting point claim” is interwoven with a disturbing past. The large-scale thermonuclear weapons experiments that began in the mid-20th century led to a spread of radioisotopes globally. “This means that everyone born after 1963 has radioactive material in their teeth.”7


In the context of the “Great Acceleration,” Anthropocene unfolded along with a shift from a “geological turn” to a “microbial turn” (Yusoff 2013, 2016). Geologists often view the earth as a “stratigraphic machine” (the earth moves its material horizontally and vertically through sediments, up through the biosphere, and down through the lithosphere, Zalasiewicz 2008). In the context of the “Great Acceleration”, substance narrative of the “stratigraphic machine” arrived at two new situations: after World War II, geologists in Europe and the United States, as well as in the Soviet Union, intensified their research on geological ages of isotopes, invisible radioactivity was coupled with the determination of the history of hard rock layers, and geoscientists coupled it with the determination of the history of hard rock layers. Earth scientists also began to detect information from the extreme depths of the earth through earth neutrinos produced during the decay of uranium and thorium elements (the Borexino Solar Neutrino Experiment detector. 8was buried more than 1000 meters below Gran Sasso, Italy). On the other hand, also at a scale invisible to the naked eye, the cycles of the human microbiome, carbon and nitrogen, pH values, and temperature tolerance have triggered a new round of “natural selection” at the level of the overall microbiology world – the world of microbiology was rapidly evolving out of sight. In the life view of the “microbial turn,” the seemingly indestructible strata-geological substance melted into a fluid stream of plant and animal-mineral-microbial co-evolution. The latter reconstructs the depth of time in the stratigraphic deposition sense into interlocking tearing, ambiguity, and disintegration.


Cao Shuyi’s video and sculptural installation A Vast Shimmer Spans constructs such an interlocking temporality: the phagocytes that feed on heavy metals, ores, and toxic waste and the unidentified road travelers take turn to tell their physical experiences of gnawing, crawling, swimming, remembering and getting lost. While seemingly random encounters with the nuclear waste site, snow goose carcass and a marker of unknown origin all hold clues in the physical world: they are inspired by the Waste Isolation Pilot Project (WIPP), a deep geological disposal plant used to store transuranic waste in the Delaware sedimentary basin of southern New Mexico, and the 1995 mass mortality of snow geese at Berkeley Pit Lake in Butte, in Montana. The work’s narrative dimension, seemingly untethered to any particular place, is rooted in a globally interconnected techno-sphere that exists primarily by burning non-renewable energy and is extremely poor at recycling. It includes highways, railroads, airports, mines and quarries, oil and gas fields, cities, rivers, reservoirs, landfills, pit lakes, and nuclear waste disposal sites born out of “non-recycling.” Another neutrino detector in operation, KamLAND, first detected neutrinos deep inside the earth while discovering large amounts of background radiation from nearby nuclear power plants. Although human presence is not manifested physically in this work of art, people and their actions are pervasively present in the form of techno-spheres.


In the film, the ancient bacteria, recorded by the electronic development apparatus, live seemingly peacefully and self-effacing in the abstract landscape. Thereupon, in the toxicity and contaminated ecology rendered by the cartographic engine, they present a frightening hunger and aggressiveness, which became a “super-agent of planetary formation.”9 It is more ancient than rocks, and rocks are more ancient than humans. In the narrative of this video, the evidence for the “Anthropocene” does not appear to be any definitive object in the stratum but rather a concerted performance by microbes, minerals, animals, and anonymous and human-like narrators (Karen Barad, 2003). Diverse bacteria metabolize under a variety of extreme environmental conditions, the mineralogical byproducts of crustal folding, eruptions, and implosions become food for many species, including humans (Tyler Volk, 2004), and all of this is also folded into the diffusion of time about trace elements (copper ore) and radioactivity. In Anna Tsing’s words, it’s an “unstable and constantly seeping” time in which the work of art happens discretely in the non-place of time.



Wind Chimes: Inexhaustible dusting


We are still in the “Anthropocene,” a version set with the vehicle of the “virtual world”: it is told by the life of the copper element through mines, mineral extraction, fiber optic cables, circuit boards, water deposits, and the hands of “gold rushers.”


If we were to magnify the “cloud,” we may discover its extremely high copper content. As a highly versatile base metal, copper is found throughout contemporary communications circuit architectures and power transmission systems and in virtually all contemporary digital media. Interestingly, if we were to observe the process of mineral extraction closely, we would realize that copper and silicon, which transport electrons and photons, are not “naturally” present on earth. Their purity is derived from a series of processes, including pyro-processing, that cut and separate them from other elements, such as sulfides and oxides, and ultimately make them the raw material for media transmission (Starosielski, 2016). When telegraph lines (the All Red Line) were first laid into the sea in the 1850s, low purity copper elements caused signal attenuation, whereas today, advances in microelectronics have made it possible to extract high purity copper, ensuring that “impure” elements do not react with others. High-grade copper is extracted from mines; however its mode of production comes with a very high environmental cost – pure copper is not an expensive metal, but the electronics industry’s demand still urges people diving to the bottom of copper formations that are thousands of meters deep.


Once isolated from purification for the first time from the raw ore, these stabilized high-purity copper elements will undergo another similar “isolation in the mine” – parsing the copper for electric toothbrushes, smartphones, TVs, refrigerators, and tablets, from the mountains of “e-waste mines.” The copper in electric toothbrushes, smartphones, TVs, refrigerators, and tablets is purified again from the mountains of “e-waste mines .”In its heyday, the town of Guiyu, Guangdong, saw millions of tons of electronic waste disassembled and sorted each year, followed by the extraction of gold, silver, copper, and other metals.10 Ironically, these two separations, as a mirror image of one another – albeit one from extremely ancient geological reserves and the other current electronic industrial debris – often require highly polluting practices, at least in many regions, be it the Chuquicamata copper mine in Chile or Guiyu in Guangdong. A few years ago, the concentrations of lead and copper were 330 and 106 times higher than in the non-dismantling area 8 km away found in the dust of the Guiyu e-waste dismantling plant. 11These copper elements that “escaped” from the processing plant entered the water stream, saturated the fields, and transformed into other forms, eventually revealing their presence in the test values.


Long Pan chased copper of Guiyu in his project “Wind Chimes” – it took place almost ten years after the comprehensive remediation of electronic waste in Guiyu, when the recycling workshops of electronic components, such as motherboard burning and acid washing, which are incredibly harmful to human health and the environment, have more or less faded from view. Yet, the copper elements still saturate the atmosphere. The artist collected reeds from the wetlands – the reed roots of the Chishui River still contain 257 times more copper than the standard value. She calcined these aquatic specimens at high temperatures until they turned uniformly into ash. Sulfuric acid is then poured into the ash powder, which has captured the “fugitive copper,” to make a copper sulfate solution. And finally, the artist reduced it by electrolysis, allowing the elemental copper to reappear as copper monomers. “We extract metal from the mountains, from the electronics, and the plants.” 12This wind chime made from the plants’ metallurgy was put back into the field where the plant samples were collected, its seemingly “heterogeneous” metallic shell echoing the same rhythm as the reeds and grasses in the humid southern wind of the Chaozhou-Shantou region. And the sound of wind chimes seems more like a ghostly reminder of the inscriptions we have engraved through the growth of the techno-sphere over an extremely long, super-human perception of geological time.


“Our scientists have changed the atoms in the atomic lattice …. and (created) what nature itself forgot to engender,” written in The Book of Record of the Time Capsule of Cupaloy. This time capsule is also known as the Westinghouse Time Capsule, which is expected to be unearthed in 6939 AD. In this “letter to the future,” the author describes that “at high noon, 500 pounds of hot sealant – a byproduct of asphalt, mineral oil and chlorinated diphenyl, known today as polychlorinated biphenyls (or PCBs) – was poured into the well.” 13Today’s scientists refer to these remnant contaminants as “persistent poisons from the past,” and the time capsule may thus be a time bomb. However, the other time bomb might be making sounds of a wind chime.



Tidal Evolution: Earth’s wet surface laying out the network


The sense of suspension brought on by the pandemic is like holding our breath all at once. As mobility and migration are disrupted, the planetary communication network behind electronic devices begins to rise like tidal waves in our attention, accompanying those in quarantine as they sleep and wake, gluing our eyes more closely to the screen. Online meeting platforms such as Zoom became the hub of the world, and the “online” world took on a stronger sense of reality. Joanna Zylinska describes this condition as a “world-become-window situation” brought on by the pandemic.14, suggesting that we may be trapped in an infinite corridor consisting of digital windows (browser windows, cell phone interfaces, online meetings, etc.). She argues that we may be trapped in an endless hall of digital windows (browser windows, mobile phone bezels, online sessions, and other software windows). When two faces are lit up on one screen at the same time, what is awakened is a planet-wide matrix of Internet/communication infrastructure that includes data storage, extraction, and transmission, as well as what Kate Crawford calls “algorithmic processing systems that span multiple networks of data mining, scheduling, distribution, prediction, and optimization. ” 15It is a world of technology that extends beyond the scale of human perception.


If polarophilic bacteria and copper leave imperceptible traces in the techno-sphere on a microscopic scale, then the global communication systems are set with the earth on a much large scale in an invisible way. Infrastructure inherently attracts the creators’ attention remotely and often spectacular appearance, be it the Dunre Nuclear Power Station in Scotland in Atom Town: Life After Technology, the towering Kaba Atmospheric Research Experiment Station through Susan Schuppli’s camera lens, or the eerie mechanical sounds of the Arecibo telescope in The Great Silence. As a physical reality and as an abstraction of an operating system, the infrastructure is often entangled together. The optical fibers on the ocean floor spread tens of thousands of kilometers. They transmit 4.7 GB of data per second, while the sea vessel that lays the fiber optic cable can travel only 2 kilometers an hour. As for the site where the line lands, it may well appear that nothing is happening. How this entanglement and concealment relate to “perception” is the critical anchor of Yuhsin Su’s work, Tidal Evolution.


Tidal Evolution traces the submarine cables that connect us via the Internet, which were also planned and laid out for trade voyages, colonial routes, and the first telephone line. John Curtis Perry wrote in Singapore: Unlikely Power that compared to the navy, the telegraph was a critical weapon for British domination worldwide. The “All-Red Line,” 16a submarine telegraph system that ran “throughout the British Empire” and connected its colonies worldwide became a sort of prototype for today’s global cable system under the sea. “The function of a high-speed, synchronized Internet on Earth is achieved by sending light from node to node through these submarine cables across the ocean floor of our wet planet.” In fact, the image of the fiber optic cable was absent in this video from beginning to end but has been ubiquitously woven into the work’s narrative: the materiality of the cable is further unpacked into a flow of water and light and became the choreographed ripples and photons that travel in depth.


In Ecological Reflections (Morton, 2012), Timothy Morton suggests that we would only become aware of the worldlessness of the world in a global context where fiber optic cables penetrate the ocean floor and satellites hover in the universe. Such a “worldless” world is actually embedded with us. Unlike many works that explore infrastructure, Tidal Evolution rejects the familiar, panoramic perspective and instead chooses to emphasize the practically inseparable relationship between us and the infrastructure system. This muddled and even wretched epidermis of the earth is a viable skin that blends the physical and the virtual, the grand and the minuscule, the public sovereignty, and the private feelings. This patch of skin is not an externalized object per se but a symbiotic entity with us and the earth’s environment – since it has become impossible to take back everything we have given or to strip it away across the board. As the voice-over in Tidal Evolution says, “When we click to zoom in, we don’t see it in its entirety because it moves with us.”



Countdown: Without a beginning or end


Since 1961, John Mainstone has been conducting an odd experiment at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, which takes place quietly in a cupboard. Mainstone is the “successor” to this experiment, which began in 1927 when Thomas Parnell, the university’s first professor of physics, began observing drops of asphalt from a funnel in order to measure the flow rate of very high viscosity asphalt at room temperature. He observed the first drops of asphalt in December 1938. This world’s slowest “hourglass” currently drips an ambiguous, black tar distillate of unknown solids and liquids at about one drop per 6-12 years. Such “slow experiments” seem to fall outside the process of shifting research focus and specific technological changes in the scientific world.


In Countdown, a solidified piece of asphalt covers a trailer made of scrap material, and from time to time, a countdown associated with various significant events plays: “Ten, nine, eight, seven ……” We are no strangers to countdowns; whether it is on New Year’s Eve, before a rocket launch, or before an important experiment in a scientific documentary (such as the Large Hadron Collider), the countdown exists as a precisely timed event – even in silence, it rattles nerves. Fritz Long’s 1929 film Frau in Mond (1929), the protagonist reads the countdown at the launch of a rocket to the moon; the numbers zoom in and out in this silent film until the giant “JETZT” (“now” in German) appears in the frame and the rocket takes off for the moon. 17The “countdown” as a flowing and rhythmic marker pointing to the “happening” (the arrival of that critical “now”) or like the invisible burning fuse, which naturally makes one hold their breath.


This fuse is now wrapped in a strange black asphalt as if it were suddenly silenced, or as if the imminent event it loudly “proclaims” suddenly falls through, as if the most exquisitely marking axis has been mocked bizarrely – this black object seems to possess some kind of time, or more precisely, the energy to dilute the density of time. As Mainstone, who maintains the asphalt experiment, explains in a Nature report, the value of the experiment lies in its historical and cultural impact, “It was doing its job while the world was going through all kinds of turmoil.” 18This “detachment” of objects certainly has an element of human attribution or empathy, but it also admittedly provides a chronological context; as a Los Angeles Times article describing the asphalt, experiment writes, “The war ended, the transistor was invented, a man stepped on the moon, we created home computers and sent wheelbarrows to Mars. Yet no one was there to witness a single drop of asphalt drip.” 19This almost unintentional, contextual progress is also present in the original history of this black substance. Natural asphalt was used by Neanderthals in the Pleistocene about 40,000 years ago, asphalt was used in ancient Babylon as an adhesive for stone walls (called “grounding resin”), the Egyptians utilized asphalt to embalm corpses, and the Romans called the Dead Sea the “Lake of Asphalt” (Palus Asphaltites) because of the natural asphalt blocks once emerged from the Dead Sea.


Asphalt has thus become a “material witness” for Susan Schuppli,” which archives its complex interactions with the world, producing ontological transformations and the deployment of information… ” and “harbors direct evidence of events or provide an intermediate methodological and epistemological framework regarding indirect evidence.” Although asphalt deposits still occur at the Trinidad Tar Pits and La Brea Tar Pits in California, Pitch Lake, named directly after “pitch,” covers 440,000 square meters – at the center of this “hard lake” on which one could ride a bicycle on its surface, there is a soft spot known as “Mother Pitch Lake,” where asphalt gushes out in a constant stream. The sticky asphalt stores more than 100 tons of fossilized bone, seeds, and pollen. The artificial asphalt, a petrochemical byproduct, is also laid on the planet’s surface as roads that occasionally reflect like black mirrors in the hot summer air. The moment of diffuse to mirrored reflection seems as accidental and unreal as the moment when the solid becomes liquid and drips.


In Primeval and Other Times, the author describes a time of coffee grinding, “People think they lead harder lives than animals, plants, and especially objects. Animals think they live harder than plants and objects. Plants imagine they live harder than objects. And objects always maintain a consistent state. This maintenance is a tougher way of living than any other way.” (Tokarczuk, 2010). The stillness of “things” always seems to be relative to the tangible thermodynamics of human beings. Yet, at a sufficiently subtle level, even “things” that exist on a geological time scale are slowly deforming. In some cases, one could hear the sound of human time within them, without beginning or end.



Freefall: When humans become ghosts


0.76, 0.78, 0.81 …… Sets of white face masks descend slowly in the black void, forming strange, frail folds at various angles and velocities. Surrounding these masks is a blue frame familiar to anyone living in 2022 – it’s a marker for machine vision programs, a kind of “golden nail” of artificial intelligence. The frame index constantly compares the emotionless masks and to what extent does it meet the algorithm’s criteria for “human,” while there are always faces that escape the algorithm’s view. 0.76, 0.78, 0.81, the program continues to work in this black space without beginning or end.


This work of art, titled Freefall is by artist Shi Zheng, whose detection of the “mask” absurdity is not only a direct satire of the ubiquitous algorithmic system but also a projection of a future condition. The homogenized, undifferentiated “human” symbolized by these masks is pushing the boundary to a new computing extreme for machine algorithms to distinguish “human” and “non-human .”When these visualization devices finally reach this seemingly futile and even absurd boundary, making credibility-based judgments about “what they are” in the midst of an endless stream of undifferentiated objects, a rehearsal with a sense of pity emerges. When the complexity of human is flattened out enough by the vast planetary machines, human seems to become like the Anthropocene itself, “despite its stratigraphical importance, it remains geologically insignificant. ” 20In other words, in computational space, humans can exist as a vast database (“stratum”), but those parts that we prefer to call “real senses” (“geology”) become, instead, thin ghosts. This “lightness” of human existence becomes necessary in Donna J. Haraway’s writing. She sees the Anthropocene as a boundary event, and we need to make it as thin as possible in order to relate to the next “epoch.”21


Lovelock published a book in his centennial titled, Novacene, in which he described artificial intelligence as “an invitation to machines to make new machines.” (Lovelock, 2019) And this next “epoch” of his imagination is also extruding on the coating of the Anthropocene in reverse. He sees us as mere “parents and midwives” of the next generation will guide Gaia through the coming astronomical crisis on their own. If we go back to Derrida’s statement that “the future belongs to ghosts” (Derrida, 1994), as ghosts can multiply in our absence, then in the “Novacene,” it is possible to make “our own disappearance” possible. It is perhaps not the photography of Derrida’s time that makes possible “our own disappearance” in the “nova,” but the machines that continue to be made by machines, the “visions” that compute ubiquitously. We cannot imagine – no matter how fascinating the narrative of the Anthropocene is – how future geologists, observational instruments, and even knowledge systems will interpret the scars we have left for Gaia in a reversed way 22 Nor can we discern how our thickness will be thinned and how our own existence will slip away in the space of (potentially pervasive) machine vision in the future. If polarophillic bacteria, radioactive elements, copper, and fiber optic cables are tearing apart and entangling with history and times in the earthly sense, then these specific, drifting faces, with nothing to hold on to or without one another, seem to be the remaining substrate of “humans.” Using Colebrook’s words, it appears to symbolize humanity’s return as a “retro-hologram.”23 in a completely non-human temporal-spatial dimension.



1. James Lovelock at 100: the Gaia saga continues,https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-01969-y

2. For additional information on the “Daisy World Experiment,” see “Gaia Hypothesis: Developing in Dispute,” http://www.ecologica.cn/stxb/ch/html/2014/19/stxb201301110082.htm

3. A geological reference point used in earth sciences.

4. See Alexandre Leskanick’s book review of Facing Gaiahttps://blogs.lse.ac.uk/lsereviewofbooks/2017/08/24/book-review-facing-gaia-eight-lectures-on-the-new-climatic-regime-by-bruno-latour/

5. In a discussion at the “Anthropocene Curriculum,” Nikiwe Solomon argues in “Consensus Building: The Conflict between Governance and Everyday Life,” the term Anthropocene seems to imply that all humans pollute the earth equally and alter its systems. Still, not all humans pollute the earth’s environment equally. https://www.anthropocene-curriculum.org/contribution/consensus-building-the-clash-between-governance-and-everyday-life

6. “Do we need to question the Anthropocene?” https://aeon.co/essays/should-we-be-suspicious-of-the-anthropocene-idea

7. “Deep time’s uncanny future is full of ghostly human traces.” See, https://aeon.co/ideas/deep-time-s-uncanny-future-is-full-of-ghostly-human-traces

8. See solar neutrino probe on Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Borexino

9. Quoting the artist.

10. “15 Tons of gold from garbage every year; what has happened to this Guangdong town?” https://www.huxiu.com/article/318465.html

11.See CDC’s description of e-waste disassembly.


12. Quote from the artist.

13.See “Time-bombing the Future: Synthetics created in the 20th century have become an evolutionary force, altering human biology and the web of life.”

14. https://aeon.co/essays/how-20th-century-synthetics-altered-the-very-fabric-of-us-all

“Views from the window: non-human photography, human labor, and covid-19”, https://e-lur.net/articulos/views-from-the-window-nonhuman-photography-human-labour-and-covid-19/

15. Chinese translation of “Anatomy of an AI,” https://sophialexa.com/8997120

16. Perry, J.C. and ebrary, Inc (2017) Singapore: Unlikely Power. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, pp.84

17. See Woman in the Moon, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woman_in_the_Moon

18. See “Long-term research: Slow science,” https://www.nature.com/articles/495300a

19. See “Burning question of 1944 finally answered: Asphalt is a liquid.” https://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-tar-drop-20130719-story.html

20. Zalasiewicz, J., Williams, M. and Waters, C.N. (2014) ‘Can an Anthropocene Series be defined and recognized?’, Geological Society special publication, 395(1), pp. 39–53.

21. Haraway, D.J. and ebrary, Inc (2016) Staying with the trouble: making kin in the Chthulucene. Durham: Duke University Press, pp.100

22. Cohen, ‘Trolling “Anthropos” – Or, Requiem for a Failed Prosopopeia’, p.53

23. Ibid.


Iris Long

Iris Long (irislong.xyz) is a writer and independent curator with a research focus on how art responses to data and tech-environment.She is currently studying at the Advanced Practices PhD Program at Goldsmiths, London. Her recent work has been focused on the psycho-geography of technologies and China’s techno-infrastructures.

She was shortlisted by the first M21-IAAC Award (International Awards for Art Criticism). Her translation work, Rethinking Curating: Art after New Media, received nomination from AAC Art China awards in 2016. In 2018, she was the recipient of Hyundai Blue Prize for curators. She has curated exhibitions around art and technology, such as “Lying Sophia and Mocking Alexa”(sophialexa.com),”Blue Cables in Venetian Watercourse”(PSA Emerging Curator’s Program) and the third Today Art Museum “Future of Today”. She has curated solo exhibitions for Liu Xin, Lauren Lee McCarthy and so on. She was also the art jury of ISEA 2019 and SIGGRAPH ASIA 2020. In 2021, she initialized “Port: Under the Cloud”, a long-term research and curatorial project on the infrastructures of science and technology in China.

Iris’s research has been presented in “Art and Artificial Intelligence”(Open Conference, ZKM), “Art Machines: International Symposium on Computational Media Art (ISCMA)”(Hong Kong), Digital Research in the Humanities and Arts (London), ISEA and so on. She has also worked with tech companies such as Microsoft, SenseTime and LandSpace.

More info: irislong.xyz

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