In May 2013, after a year of living with internet, Bauer Miller, writer of the US technology website The Verge, returned to the Internet. Bauer’s plan was “leave the Internet, thereby to find the real me, and encounter the real world”. Yet, after this “terrible” experience, his discovery was “the real me and the real world has long been closely interlinked”. This is a real portrait of trend of the times today. And this is also the starting point to discuss young artists aaajiao (Xu Wenkai) and Lin Ke’s creations, which blur the boundaries of reality and virtual world.
Technology effects our emotions, ways of thinking and even our aesthetics by changing our behavior patterns and daily habits. The original social structure and system is also facing a huge impact. For aaajiao and Lin Ke, long-term user of computer and the Internet, tools and techniques have been immersed in everyday life subtly and concretely. “As a person from the generation of information technology, we are becoming nodes of information.” “Screen Generation” is aaajiao’s summary of his contemporaries. Art, therefore, again confirmed its origination from life. On the other hand, artists are not followers of ultimate virtual technology. Reality and the virtual co-exist, and interchange in a balanced and humorous manner.
First of all, how to be a user? Then, how to become an artist from a user’s experience. In this talk, artists aaajiao and Lin Ke, together with art critic He Xiao, will discuss relations among technology, people and arts, and explore concepts of the real and the virtual, as well as a series of related topics, from their everyday experiences.
aaajiao, is the online handle of Xu Wenkai, a Shanghai-based new media artist, avid blogger and free thinker. Born in 1984, aaajiao grew up in Xi’an, the ancient capital of Qin and Han Dynasty known for the Terracotta Army. The year of 1984, coinciding with George Orwell’s dystopian masterpiece, seems to explain the perfect alignment between the vivid SciTech-driven imagination and the sometimes-poetic sophistication, frequently seen as the main theme of aaajiao’s work. Many of aaajiao’s works tap into the most current trends of thoughts around the Internet sphere, with a focus on the emerging controversies and phenomenon related to data processing, blogsphere/wemedia and filtered information. In his most recent projects, the artist has adopted a more extended scope of practices, borrowing elements from architecture, electronic music, performance arts, product design, even medicine, to portray the young generation harnessing the power of cyber technology and the ever-present social media. aaajiao is a winner of the Jury Prize from Art Sanya Awards 2014, a nominee of OCAT – Pierre Huber Art Prize, and most recently, a nominee of the “Young Artist of the Year” of 9th “Award of Art China”.
Lin Ke, born in 1984 in Wenzhou, Zhejiang province. He graduated from New Media Arts department of the China Academy of Fine Arts. He lives and works in Beijing. From 2010 he began making a series of operations associated with computer video and image works. Lin Ke put the computer as a studio, extracting material from computers and the Internet, some operating behavior and record images using the concept of screenshots and screen recording software. He won the 2014 OCAT- Pierre Huber Art Prize, and the ninth AAC art of the Chinese Youth Artist Award for the year 2015. Lin Ke is also a member of the art group Double Fly Art Center.
Fiona He, Managing editor of Artforum.com.cn, she was the researcher for Mainland China of the Asia Art Archive from 2008-2014, and has been a freelance art writer and translator.
Chang Xuyang, program excutive of New Century Art Foundation.