ThingThingThing curated into Rhizome/New Museum Exhibition “World on a Wire”
ThingThingThing is included in a new exhibition by Rhizome, sponsored by Hyundai. The exhibition opens at Beijing at Jan 28th, and will be touring to Seoul and Moscow later this year.
World on a Wire“HYUNDAI x Rhizome of the New Museum: World on a Wire” transforms the gallery space into a hybrid-reality vivarium of vivid, artist-made synthetic life forms, exploring the possibilities and poetics of simulation as artistic practice.
In a technological sense, simulations can be thought of as efforts to model dynamic processes or situations. As designer Francis Tseng has pointed out, such simulations go beyond the neutral description of an underlying reality: they often project forward in time, and they may embed certain belief systems in a particular model of the world or its future. In particular, Tseng argues, simulations are often defined by “perceived rigor, correctness, and mathematical infallibility.”
The works in “HYUNDAI x Rhizome of the New Museum: World on a Wire” call this authority into question, taking up the practice of simulation in order to highlight its contingent and subjective aspects. Some of the works make use of optical technologies, from pre-cinema visual effects to 3D printing, virtual reality, and augmented reality, to draw attention to simulation as a visual technology. Others focus on simulation as a means of simplifying rule sets and modeling behaviors, often for the purpose of projecting expected outcomes. Through these disparate approaches, the works call into question the distinction between reality and representation, highlighting the ways in which simulation as a practice can not be separated from the world it seeks to model.
The exhibition draws its title from a 1973 TV movie by German director Rainer Werner Fassbinder in which a massive computer simulation causes the protagonist to question whether his own reality is also a virtual construction, ultimately driving him to insanity. This paranoiac horror–in which the real world is revealed to be nothing more than a simulation–is recast in this exhibition in more ambivalent terms: simulation may be a way of wielding power over its subjects, but it also offers a possible technique through which to reimagine our world–particularly our relationship with technology and the natural environment–together.
Curator : Michael Connor (Rhizome of the New Museum) in collaboration with Baoyang Chen (Central Academy of Fine Arts) and Taiyun Kim (Hyundai Motor Company)