Where Are We Going?
Curated by Yaoli Wang
Artists: Guaier Huang + Runzhong Wang, Mengfan Bai, and Ziyang Wu
Opening Reception: January 30, 2019, 7:00 – 9:00 pm
January 23 – February 6, 2019
CP Projects Space, 132 West 21st Street, 10th floor, New York, NY
Monday - Friday, 10:00 am - 6:00 pm, weekends by appointment
CP Projects Space at the School of Visual Arts is pleased to present Where Are We Going?
curated by MA Curatorial Practice fellow Yaoli Wang. We are affected every day by digital devices, sending us into an infectious virtual world. With much the same effect as other aspects of pop culture, technology impacts people’s thoughts and lifestyles as a kind of brainwashing—or does it? The virtual can instantly betray our trust in reality—just like a hypnotized person needs a spinning totem to distinguish between dreams and waking life. If our immersion in the virtual unscrupulously codes our minds, we can even go so far as to say that failure to resist this immersion will lead to dire human consequences.
Mengfan Bai’s serial work Waiting for Godot (2017) questions the unpredictable nature of virtual experience. With the frozen image of the work’s central icon—the spinning circle familiar to us from computer screens—we are immediately reminded of the limbo time we all enter into as a website loads, a time of pervasive emptiness repeated over and over in our lives. Guaier Huang and Runzhong Wang’s Verge (Cursor) (2017) presents two videos that show a computer mouse’s cursor surprisingly dropped into urban landscapes, dramatically merging the virtual and the real. The animated video The Last Subway (2016) by Ziyang Wu offers the narrative of a fictitious videogame protagonist, ZiyangMon (referring to Pokémon Go), who transforms into a live person. The work hints at how the virtual world increasingly influences human consciousness on both a macro and micro scale in our highly globalized, digitized society.
Where Are We Going? seeks to give a palpable sense of the discomfort that virtual experiences can bring and the increasing awareness that our everyday lives cannot escape the virtual any more than we can escape the real.
Image: The Last Subway, 2016, Ziyang Wu, Color Digital Video with Sound, 9 mins 23 seconds