30.03.2020 - 30.04.2020
Due to the global outbreak of the coronavirus, which is raging rapidly all over the world, we are witnessing an unprecedented historical moment with drastic effects on social life and economic structures. Cultural programming is also massively affected, but more than ever, art remains an essential force to inspire and mobilize us. Already at the beginning of February, the HeK (House of Electronic Arts Basel) was asked by the Chronus Art Center in Shanghai, whose physical presence was already limited at the time by the closure of China, to participate in a joint online exhibition.
With its open call to the international media art community, the Chronus Art Center initiated an online exhibition in response to the current uncertainty and the time of fear. Many international partners have now come together and the HeK is one of them. We are co-organizers of this special online exhibition, which can be seen from 30 March 2020 on arteca.mit.edu by Leonardo https://www.leonardo.info and is also linked via our website (see on the left side).
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.
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
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)
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