We=Link: Nine Easy Pieces, Et cetera | Leonardo/ISAST

We=Link: Ten Easy Pieces

A Chronus Art Center Special Online Exhibition

Exhibition site http://we-link.chronusartcenter.org/

Virtual Dialogue on "We=Link: Ten Easy Pieces" - April 6, 5:00 PM San Francisco /April 7, 8:00 AM Shanghai - Details and event sign up here.

March 30, 2020

Artists: Raphaël Bastide, Tega Brain & Sam Lavigne, JODI, LI Weiyi, Evan Roth, Slime Engine, Helmut Smits, XU Wenkai (aka aaajiao), Yangachi and YE Funa

Curated by ZHANG Ga

Organized by Chronus Art Center

Co-commissioned by Chronus Art Center (Shanghai); Art Center Nabi (Seoul); and Rhizome of the New Museum (New York)

Co-hosting Institutions: Chronus Art Center (Shanghai); Art Center Nabi (Seoul); Rhizome of the New Museum (New York); Arts at CERN (Geneva); e-flux (New York); HeK (House of Electronic Arts Basel); iMAL (Brussels); LABORATORIA Art & Science Foundation (Moscow); Leonardo/ISAST; MU Hybrid Art House (Eindhoven); SETI AIR/SETI Institute (Mountain View); V2_, Lab for the Unstable Media (Rotterdam).

This online exhibition is also presented as a project of First Look: New Art Online, a New Museum online program and archived at https://www.leonardo.info/welink-ten-easy-pieces provided by Leonardo/The International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology (Leonardo/ISAST)

Chronus Art Center (CAC) is pleased to announce the presentation of a special online exhibition “We=Link: Ten Easy Pieces,” featuring new commissions by the artists aaajiao, Tega Brain & Sam Lavigne, JODI, LI Weiyi, Slime Engine and YE Funa in conjunction with works by Evan Roth, Helmut Smits, Yangachi and Raphaël Bastide. The exhibition was made possible through the generous support of Art Center Nabi (Seoul); Rhizome of the New Museum (New York); and the concerted efforts by 12 institutions around the world. The exhibition is available online starting on 30 March 2020.

Due to the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak rapidly raging throughout the world, we are experiencing an unprecedented historical moment, and social and economic routines have been interrupted, including cultural programming. More than ever, art remains an essential force to galvanize and rejuvenate. In lieu of a physical exhibition restrained by the lockdown, Chronus Art Center sent out an open call to the international media art community in early February to initiate a special online exhibition as a response to the current uncertainty and a time of anxiety. The proposal has since received committed responses from the international community.

Titled “We=Link: Ten Easy Pieces,” alluding to the American actor Jack Nicholson’s iconic movie Five Easy Pieces with a subtle twist on WeChat, the popular Chinese social media platform, it will be exhibited online in collaboration with a network of other hosting institutions. The works presented in this exhibition are network native, exploring the potential of mobile technologies, particularly with a creative and critical appropriation of various social media platforms. In conjunction with this online exhibition, CAC also aims to use this opportunity to recapitulate the importance of net art practice, which was crucial in contributing to early discourse on internet culture and constitutive during the formative years of new media art as a genre, continuing to play a vital role in shaping the dynamics of an ever more pervasively networked society.

The title “We=Link: Ten Easy Pieces” denotes a community of solidarity as a network of empowerment. The reference to Five Easy Pieces prompts an evocation of an implicit existential anxiety, a sense of estrangement and soul finding: Ten Uneasy Pieces indeed. On the other hand, the title “We=Link" elicits a silver lining—a streak of hope to carry on.

Rather than an explicit outcry against the current public health crisis, this online project addresses a general state of humanity that is under pressing peril of natural and social disruptions and precariousness, demonstratively manifested in the coronavirus outbreak, which is partially the cause of the magnitude of the virus itself and partially beholden to a failure of governance.

Co-commissioning Institutions

Established in 2013, Chronus Art Center (CAC) is China’s first nonprofit art organization dedicated to the presentation, research / creation and scholarship of media art. CAC with its exhibitions, residency oriented fellowships, lectures and workshop programs and through its archiving and publishing initiatives, creates a multifaceted and vibrant platform for the discourse, production and dissemination of media art in a global context. CAC is positioned to advance artistic innovation and cultural awareness by critically engaging with media technologies that are transforming and reshaping contemporary experiences.

Art Center Nabi is one of the premier media art centers in South Korea and a central institution in the international digital arts and culture scene, since its founding in 2000. Art Center Nabi aims to act as an intermediary that transforms the cultural desires into vital activities. Art Center Nabi’s mission centers around three main areas; being a ‘critique’ of contemporary technology; nurturing ‘creativity’, thus opening new possibilities of creative expressions; building 'community' where new ideas are shared and developed into new social movements. Art Center Nabi hopes to be a space, where artistic sensibilities combined with technological possibilities bring out the power of positive change in man as well as in society.

Rhizome champions born-digital art and culture through artist-centered programs that commission, present, and preserve art made with and through digital networks and tools. Online since 1996, the organization is an affiliate of the iconic New Museum in New York City.

Co-hosting Institutions:

Arts at CERN (Geneva)  www.arts.cern
e-flux (New York) www.e-flux.com
HeK (House of Electronic Arts Basel)  www.hek.ch
iMAL (Brussels)  www.imal.org
LABORATORIA Art & Science Foundation (Moscow) www.newlaboratoria.ru
Leonardo/ISAST  www.leonardo.info
MU Hybrid Art House (Eindhoven)  www.mu.nl
SETI AIR/SETI Institute (Mountain View) https://www.seti.org/artist-in-residence
V2_, Lab for the Unstable Media (Rotterdam) www.v2.nl