​CAC · Exhibition | AI Delivered: The Abject

    July 3 – October 17, 2021

    Chronus Art Center (CAC)

    BLDG.18, No.50 Moganshan RD., Shanghai



    Sofian Audry and Istvan Kantor (a.k.a. Monty Cantsin), HE Zike, Lauren Lee McCarthy, Casey Reas and Jan St. Werner, Devin Ronneberg and Kite, Tonoptik



    ZHANG Ga



    July 3, 2021 (Saturday)


    LAUREN (performance)

    1:00 - 3:00 pm

    *More info about the performance will be released very soon.


    Artist & Curator Talk

    3:00 – 4:00 pm



    11 am – 6 pm Wednesdays – Sundays

    Admission: ¥ 30 (Free admission on Wednesdays)

    *Free admission on the day of opening.



    Chronus Art Center is pleased to announce the presentation of AI Delivered: The Abject, the first segment of a two-part exhibition under the framework of AI Delivered. Featuring artists and artist collectives Sofian Audry and Istvan Kantor (a.k.a. Monty Cantsin), HE Zike, Lauren Lee McCarthy, Casey Reas and Jan St. Werner, Devin Ronneberg and Kite, and Tonoptik, the exhibition will be on view from July 3rd through October 17, 2021.


    When answering the question “Can Machines Think?” the British mathematician and AI progenitor Alan Turing in his 1950 essay “Computing Machinery and Intelligence” proposed his infamous ImitationGame (aka The Turing Test) as a counterargument to his own self-imposed question, writing “The original question, ‘Can machines think?’ I believe to be too meaningless to deserve discussion.” Turing said instead “that in about fifty years' time it will be possible, to program computers, with a storage capacity of about 109, to make them play the imitation game so well that an average interrogator will not have more than 70 per cent chance of making the right identification after five minutes of questioning.”(1)American philosopher Daniel Dennett later speculated in his text Can Machines Think, contending “Turing was not coming to the view (although it is easy to think how one might think he is) that to think is just like to think like a human being … Men and women, and computers, may all have different ways of thinking. But surely, he thought, if one can think in one’s own peculiar style well enough to imitate a thinking man or woman, one can think well, indeed.”(2)


    The exhibition attempts to implicitly raise questions on the epistemological limits of Artificial Intelligence while alluding to a recurring sense of frenzy and abjection in today’s AI-entrenched world.


    Summarizing art since the 1970s as an outcry for The Return of the Real, the art historian Hal Foster famously stated, the real would be the actual bodies and social sites recognized in the form of the traumatic and abject subject. He commented, “The shift in conception — from reality as an effect of representation to the real as a thing of trauma — may be definitive in contemporary art.”(3)If contemporary art is ineluctably a part of contemporary experience encroached by the pervasive presence of Artificial Intelligence, the new locality of abjection may lie precisely where the AI’s imposed instrumentality reigns and dominates, perpetuated by capital’s greed, and held in sway by geopolitical powers. But the site of abjection is also a site of resistance and creativity. The burden on AI of the excessive human desire to make it human-like is a misery awaiting to be set free – this doppelgänger narrative constitutes the curatorial framework of the first part of the exhibition.


    Works in the exhibition reveal the vulnerability of neural networks as well as AI’s despair in attempting to grasp reality’s intricacy and tumultuousness. While romantic chats played out by the machine learning algorithm seems ludicrous, human wits turn artificial artful and intelligence performed absurd. We see images reminiscent of a Baroque beauty, both concretely abstract and abjectly sublime. Incapacitating the garish wiggles of the Deep Dream-induced hallucinatory visuality and, at the same time, we make life or cause death of the neural network by plugging and unplugging network cables to artificially deconstruct and reconstruct. A technological substrate of wired life is witnessed as being delivered, stripped, and resurrected in the most visceral sense.


    With the alternative narrative of the Turing Test and its implication in perspective, the second iteration of AI Delivered which is slated to open in early November 2021 imagines an AI freed from the assumed intelligence by a human measure as well as seeing machine intelligence as an agentic entity of another order, capable of a subjectivity other than that of humans. The exhibition therefore illuminates how such an AI is envisioned by artists to explore a cosmopolitically conscious ecology and the posthuman prospects of symbiosis and of collective commons.


    The exhibition will be accompanied by an extended essay, invoking historical and current literatures on the critical reflections of AI, to expound on the curatorial conception and the included artworks.



    1., 5/3/2021

    2., 5/3/2021

    3.Hal Foster, The Return of the Real (Cambridge: The MIT Press, 1996), p. 146.



    Sofian Audry & Istvan Kantor (a.k.a. Monty Cantsin), The Sense of Neoism?!, installation view. Photo: ZHONG Han ©Chronus Art Center



    HE Zike, E-dream: we'll stay, forever, in this way, installation view. Photo: ZHONG Han ©Chronus Art Center



    Lauren Lee McCarthy, LAUREN, installation view. Photo: ZHONG Han ©Chronus Art Center



    Casey Reas & Jan St.Werner, Compressed Cinema, installation view. Photo: ZHONG Han ©Chronus Art Center



    Devin Ronneberg & Kite, Fever Dream, installation view. Photo: ZHONG Han ©Chronus Art Center



    TONOPTIK, Instinkt, installation view. Photo: ZHONG Han ©Chronus Art Center




    Related Reading

    AI Delivered: the Abject and Redemption





    We=Link: Sideways

    A Chronus Art Center (CAC) exhibition

    November 21, 2020 – May 23, 2021

    Chronus Art Center, Shanghai, BLDG.18, No. 50 Moganshan RD., Shanghai



    Participating Artists:

    Mike Bennett, Wafaa Bilal, CHEN Pengpeng, Jonah Brucker-Cohen, Matthieu Cherubini, Paolo Cirio,  Leon Eckert, Ursula Endlicher, exonemo, Hervé Graumann, GUO Cheng, Vytas Jankauskas, Knowbotic Research, LAN, LIANG Yuhong, LIU Xing, Jonas Lund, Lauren Lee McCarthy, Kyle McDonald, Haroon Mirza, Everest Pipkin, Cornelia Sollfrank, Wolfgang Staehle, Ubermorgen, Maciej Wisniewski, XU Haomin, ZHAO Hua and ZHOU Pengan


    ​Curated by

    ZHANG Ga


    Organized by

    Chronus Art Center


    Online co-presentation with

    CAFA Art Museum (Beijing), ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe, HeK (House of Electronic Arts Basel), V2_Lab for the Unstable Media (Rotterdam), Ars at CERN (Geneva), Elektra (Montreal), Leonardo/ISAST, Nam June Paik Art Center (Seoul), Copenhagen Contemporary (Copenhagen), Light Art Space (Berlin) and in collaboration with artport of The Whitney Museum of American Art (New York)


    Online Exhibition



    Chronus Art Center is pleased to announce the presentation of a group exhibition titled We=Link: Sideways, featuring twenty-two works by twenty-eight artists and artist collectivesfrom the pioneers of net art to millennials. The works on display and online span three decades of net art practice, from arguably the first internet-era artwork of The Thing BBS in 1991 to the most current production continuing to evolve as the exhibition opens.


    Often referred to as the last Avant-garde of the twentieth century, the phenomenon largely dubbed as net art appearing in the early ’90s with the advent of the internet enjoyed an unrestrained flourishing period of prolific experimental, creative and critical engagement with the nascent new-media-fueled economy and its cultural and social ramifications. By 1997 the institutional acknowledgement of the once peripheral and fringe art practice along with the commodification of the internet made net art seem, according to art historian Dieter Daniels, to have “reached a dead end or turning point.”


    This exhibition takes the purported net art’s “dead end” as a new starting point to chart a discursive trajectory of the practices since then, in the many manifestations of network-based art. Instead of prescribing it a categorical definition, the exhibition attempts to uncover the variegated developments, diverse strategies, critical positions and aesthetic experiments after the crash of the bubble, amidst the prevalence of neoliberalism and cognitive capitalism, and the rise of populism and nationalism. Sideways reveals the continuum of the Avant-garde “nettitudes” inherent in the works of these artists.


    The exhibition comprises the first artist-run Bulletin Board System that preceded the ensuing popularity of social networks and various expressions of artistic strategies and critical technologies aiming to disrupt a corporate monopoly of the network infrastructure and protocols, to expose the intrinsic logics of network security and surveillance in provocative stances as well as playful innuendos, and to intercept or re-appropriate commercial or institutional modus operandi. At the same time, the experimental nature of net art has continued to develop its varying aesthetic propositions along with the new possibilities and challenges of rapidly changing technologies.


    Wolfgang Staehle, The Thing BBS,

    Courtesy the artist.


    Two works under the auspices of SUNRISE / SUNSET will take over the exhibition website and several partner institutions’ websites at the liminal moments of each day by direct intervention based on local time and environmental data, revealing the intrinsic logic of locality in globality, and the disruptiveness and transformative nature of the network.


    exonemo, 0 to 1 / 1 to 0, artport of The Whitney Museum of American Art

    Courtesy the artist.


    The exhibition also includes a rare collection of artifacts of early Chinese internet culture during its formative years of the late 1990s and early 2000s. The amateurish enthusiasm and self-propagated autonomy mark a striking similarity with the pioneering spirit of their predecessors.


    ZHOU Pengan, People's Computing

    Courtesy the artist

    In 1999 ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe organized an exhibition titled net_condition, foreshadowing the advent of a new epoch that would be defined by the network. The net condition has been reaffirmed, by now, as a perpetual condition, and it is a posthuman condition with the net condition as its circulatory and respiratory prerequisites. In a world that is stricken by a rampant pandemic and virulent misinformation, bankrupted by corporate rapacity; a world of tumults and crises, accelerated by artificial intelligence in the feedforward anticipation of the Kurzweilian transhuman singularity; a world of hardened passion and redemption in every way reminiscent of the fertile ground in which the Avant-garde germinated and thrived, net art, the last Avant-garde of the twentieth century, may once again at this “turning point” take up that Quixotic spirit of intrepidity and strive on, once again from the periphery and the fringe – with a little mischief, a pinch of agitation, via action, through the beautiful, and by sideways, to remake history.


    The exhibition will be accompanied by an extended essay to further contextualize the works and their implicit resonances with the historic tradition of net art and the Avant-garde at large.


    A series of exhibition-related programs and performances will be organized during the six-month exhibition period.


    We=Link: Sideways is the second edition of the We=Link program, a platform for presenting online art. It was initially conceived by Chronus Art Center in late February of 2020 as a response to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.


    We=Link: Sideways is co-presented online with CAFA Art Museum (Beijing), ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe, HeK (House of Electronic Arts Basel), V2_ Lab for the Unstable Media (Rotterdam), Ars at CERN (Geneva), Elektra (Montreal), Leonardo/ISAST, Nam June Paik Art Center (Seoul), Copenhagen Contemporary (Copenhagen), Light Art Space (Berlin) and in collaboration with artport of The Whitney Museum of American Art.


    Organized by


    Online co-presentation with


    In collaboration with

    artport / The Whitney Museum of American Art




    2020.6.27 - 2020.10.25

    Chronus Art Center (CAC)

    BLDG.18, No.50 Moganshan RD., Shanghai



    !Mediengruppe Bitnik, CHEN Baoyang, Simon Denny, Grayson Earle, Sarah Friend, Marija Bozinovska Jones, Paul Kolling & Max Hampshire & Paul Seidler, Matthias Tarasiewicz, Lina Theodorou & Rob Myers



    BI Xin, CAO Jiamin


    Special thanks



    Chronus Art Center is pleased to announce the summer exhibition crypto_manifold, featuring works by artists !Mediengruppe Bitnik, CHEN Baoyang, Simon Denny, Grayson Earle, Sarah Friend, Marija Bozinovska Jones, Paul Kolling & Max Hampshire & Paul Seidler, Matthias Tarasiewicz and Lina Theodorou & Rob Myers. The exhibition will open to the public on June 27, 2020 and remain on view through October 25, 2020.


    In 1993, The New Yorker published Peter Steiner’s cartoon “On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog,” poking fun at online anonymity that hides the user’s identity, or even species, behind a screen. In the past forty years, with the rise of various kinds of P2P (point-to-point) network topologies, many Internet activists have advocated for decentralized autonomous sovereignty. Yet, the inherent lack of virtual trust continues to drive the growth of third-party institutions and “super platforms” that provide online verification and management services. These institutions collect user data, whether in the name of ensuring those users’ rights or merely for economic gain. Encroaching governmental intervention and digital capitalism have tarnished the utopian aspirations many initially held for the Internet’s possibilities. Furthermore, after Wall Street triggered the 2008 global financial crisis, establishing bonds of trust between the public and financial institutions had become ever more necessary.


    During the global financial crisis, the pseudonymous entity Satoshi Nakamoto outlined a new protocol for a peer-to-peer electronic cash system through the development of the cryptocurrency bitcoin. In the form of distributed computations, this protocol establishes a set of rules, such as proof-of-work (POW), value as incentive, distributed power and cryptographic security. These rules aim to secure the integrity of the data exchange among billions of devices without going through a trusted third party. On a blockchain, all transactions and interactions among actors are recorded and stored in an immutable, distributed ledger. The algorithm and self-executing smart contract replace the intermediaries. The code-in-action infrastructure provides the distributed trust system. Blockchain technology undoubtedly stimulates the imagination --- it makes us wonder, apart from the Internet of Information, are we able to realize an Internet of Value? Would this form of the Internet be capable of safely storing, managing, exchanging and moving assets, personal identities, artistic creation, and even ballot? Could opportunities and prosperity flow directly from the source, bypassing traditional hierarchical systems of wealth creation and distribution?


    crypto_manifold presents artists’ multifaceted exploration and affective investigation of the panoptic application of blockchain technology. The nine featured projects respectively place technological topics, such as DAO (decentralized autonomous organization), cryptocurrencies and tokens, smart contracts, and crypto algorithms into dialogues with wider social and cultural context. While presenting manifold perspectives, the exhibition also constructs a kind of topological manifold space, hence the title. This technology, impregnated with a vision of rational exuberance as opposed to irrational exuberance accelerated by financial bubbles and market manipulation, proposes a practical way to realize an autonomous future and stands as an economical prototype of the posthuman era. Yet, we remain skeptical of this potential. Bitcoin mining farms consume tremendous natural resources, and debate is polarized between Anarcho-capitalism and avid technocrats. Under such circumstances, could this decentralized infrastructure fix the problems of the current financial system, manifested in an increasing disparity between the rich and the poor, financial capital sovereignty and monopolization, and commodification of both human relation and sensory experience? Or will blockchain technology merely extend such corruption, a digital consensus co-opted by capital?


    We=Link: Ten Easy Pieces

    A Chronus Art Center Special Online Exhibition

    March 30, 2020



    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).



    Click Here to Enter the Exhibition:


    This online exhibition will also be presented as a project of First Look: New Art Online, a New Museum online program and archived at provided by Leonardo/The International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology (Leonardo/ISAST).


    We=Link: Ten Easy Pieces features 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.

    Due to the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak rapidly raging throughout the world, we are experiencing an unprecedented historical time, 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, the exhibition is presented online in collaboration with a network of other hosting institutions. The works included in this exhibition are network native, exploring the potential of mobile technologies, particularly with a creative and critical appropriation of various social media platforms.

    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)

    e-flux (New York)

    HeK (House of Electronic Arts Basel)

    iMAL (Brussels)

    LABORATORIA Art & Science Foundation (Moscow)


    MU Hybrid Art House (Eindhoven)

    SETI AIR/SETI Institute (Mountain View)

    V2_, Lab for the Unstable Media (Rotterdam)


    Just What Is It That Makes Today’s Computers So Intriguing, So Nonsensical?

    October 30, 2019 – December 30, 2019

    Chronus Art Center (CAC)

    BLDG.18, No.50 Moganshan RD., Shanghai



    Ralf Baecker, Arthur Ganson, Martin Howse, LI Xuezhi, Fito Segrera, ZHANG Hua

    Curated  by

    ZHANG Ga

    Opening Reception & Artist Talk

    October 30, 2019 (Saturday)

    Artist Talk: 3:00 – 4:00 pm

    Opening Reception: 4:00 – 7:00 pm

    On View

    11 am – 6 pm Wednesdays – Sundays

    Admission: ¥ 20 (Free admission on Wednesdays)


    Chronus Art Center is pleased to announce the presentation of a new exhibition titled Just What Is It That Makes Today’s Computers So Intriguing, So Nonsensical? featuring works by artists Ralf Baecker, Arthur Ganson, Martin Howse, LI Xuezhi, Fito Segrera and ZHANG Hua. The exhibition will open to the public on October 30, 2019 and remain on view through December 30, 2019.


    In 1956 London’s Whitechapel gallery mounted a then sensational exhibition entitled This is Tomorrow. "Just what is it that makes today's homes so different, so appealing?,"  a collage which the British Artist Richard Hamilton made based on his installation work in the exhibition in collaboration with fellow artist and architect John McHale and John Voelcker, was not only reproduced as the exhibition’s publicity poster, but also subsequently became the signpost of an era of prolific consumerism and the moniker for its cultural high priest: the Pop Art movement across the Atlantic.


    The artist recounted in 1990 his motivation for making the work: “The collage had a didactic role in the context of a didactic exhibition, This is Tomorrow, in that it attempted to summarize the various influences that were beginning to shape post-war Britain. We seemed to be taking a course towards a rosy future and our changing, Hi-Tech world was embraced with a starry-eyed confidence; a surge of optimism which took us into the 1960s.”


    Every era has a future. And the future is always now, just like the tested cliché “This is Tomorrow” is always timely and legitimate. If the mid-1950s was earmarked by an anticipatory ethos of techno-cultural capitalism, then the second decade of the 21st century has certainly always already been perceptually susceptible and viscerally inveterate in the insatiable consumption of everything computer. From AR to VR, from Big Data to AI, we are perpetually mired in the maelstrom of the clamor of digital revolution and the encrypted rumblings of the cognitive capitalism. The future is once again now.


    The exhibition Just What Is It That Makes Today’s Computers So Intriguing, So Nonsensical?  takes the virtually eponymous title of the work that once epiphanized an era, to call out, via representative works empowered by artistic and critical technologies, a ghost of discontent against the popular, the vogue and the market, to turn the technological utility into the estranged, to disrupt the functional and to usurp the familiar, in order to reflect on and critique the currently pervasive technological popularism hijacked by the corporate and institutional interests and coopted through the indiscriminating promiscuity of art and technology premised on the opportunistic investment of political ambition.


    Among the assemblages on display are the whimsical machinery caressing of some kind as encountered by Artificial Intuition and the irritated pedaling thrusts of a sewing machine attempting to emulate the work of an antiquated phonographic apparatus (Genesis).


    ZHANG Hua, Artificial Intuition, 2018, sculpture. Installation view, Chronus Art Center. Photo: ZHONG Han

    Li Xuezhi, Genesis, 2019, mechanical installation. Installation view, Chronus Art Center. Photo: ZHONG Han


    In Test Execution Host, rocks, cyanotype and pumping water make a Turning Machine that is surreal yet effectual; Rechnender Raum does the immaculate deeds of measuring and adapting space with a neural network built of beechwood sticks, rubber bands, fiber strings and servo  motors, turning the logic of a consumer computer inside out; The Form of Becoming is an artificial intelligence so smart that it tirelessly wrestles with its own futile mission of alignment and displacement for a claim of nonhuman wisdom.


    Martin Howse, Test Execution Host, 2016 ongoing, Turing installation. Installation view, Chronus Art Center. Photo: ZHONG Han

    Ralf Baecker, Rechnender Raum, sculpture.  Installation view, Chronus Art Center. Photo: ZHONG Han

    Fito Segrera, The Form of Becoming, 2018, artficial intelligence sculpture. Installation view, Chronus Art Center. Photo: ZHONG Han

    Finally there is the fantastical contraption that attempts to bear witness to the dawn of the universe, Beholding the Big Bang, the exquisite invention designed to rotate by a cycle of 13.82 billion years is as scientifically palpable as phenomenologically unfathomable.

    Arthur Ganson, Beholding the Big Bang, 2019, sculpture. Installation view, Chronus Art Center. Photo: ZHONG Han

    The sometimes senseless actions by and at other moments the perplexing undertakings with and yet again occasionally the agitating temperaments of these computing machines thus have also acquired a vivid life of their own volition.





    Open Codes. Connected Bots
    July 20 – October 7, 2019
    Chronus Art Center (CAC)
    BLDG.18, No.50 Moganshan RD., Shanghai

    Curated by
    Christian LÖLKES, Lívia NOLASCO-RÓZSÁS, and ZHANG Ga

    aaajiao, Zach Blas and Jemima Wyman, Bleeptrack, James Bridle, Max Cooper and Andy Lomas, Kate Crawford and Vladan Joler, DISNOVATION.ORG , Jonas Eltes, César Escudero Andaluz and Martín Nadal, GUO Cheng, Bernd Lintermann, Shawn Maximo, Joana Moll, Sebastian Schmieg, Adam Slowik, Nye Thompson, WANG Changcun, Peter Weibel and Christian Lölkes, ZKM|Hertz-Lab, 996.ICU

    Co-organized by
    Chronus Art Center (CAC),ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe

    Supported by
    Vitra, Pro Helvetia Shanghai, Swiss Arts Council, swissnex China

    Opening Reception & Artist Talk

    July 20, 2019 (Saturday)
    Artist Talk: 4:00 – 5:00 pm
    Opening Reception: 5:00 – 7:00 pm
    On View
    11 am – 6 pm Wednesdays – Sundays
    Admission: ¥ 20 (Free admission on Wednesdays)


    Chronus Art Center (CAC) is pleased to announce the exhibition Open Codes. Connected Bots, co-organized by CAC and ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe, Germany.

    Exhibition Concept

    Open Codes brings computing and art together in various ways. It is a new form of assembly, combining practical knowledge of computer code and critical artistic approaches in a single venue. The project seeks to empower its participants to regain access to reality through instruments of thought and to reflect on the genealogy and current social impact of digital code, computer programming, and software.

    The current iteration of this project at the Chronus Art Center focuses on the affective resonance of algorithms and the reciprocal, perceptual entanglements of computational simulacra and physical reality. The ability to navigate the world of code, hand in hand with digital literacy, are essential to contemporary society in the age of planetary-scale computation, especially when algorithmic agents are designed to influence public opinion.

    Virtual software agents, colloquially referred to as bots, run mostly repetitive tasks at a higher speed than humans ever could. Some specialize in conversations on online platforms, where they are programmed to act like regular people. Social media bots are a product of the new economies of visibility and currently make up more than half of online traffic. Some bots can learn from us; others can spider the web to index content; further ones strive to alter our mindsets and are used in political campaigns, and others maliciously litter inboxes with spam.

    The world bot derives from “robot”, first used by Karel Čapek in his 1920 science fiction novel, to describe a fictional humanoid. Robot became known as a word for autonomous machines, capable of carrying out complex tasks, that can be forced to work, as the meaning of the Czech word ‘robota’ suggests. Robots, whether with or without a built body, are meant to provide services, much like the natural language conversation program, ELIZA, described by Joseph Weizenbaum in 1966. This early chatbot was in some users’ opinion a better psychologist than its human alternatives. A couple of decades later virtual assistants, like Alexa, are not only capable of chatting, but of accomplishing more complex tasks, and are now as mundane as a hairdryer in certain parts of the world.

    Countless experiments and actual applications of binary-based human substitutes are now in use. Despite their advantages, these tools come at a price –the seamless operation of a virtual assistant obscures cumbersome human labour. Chatbots aggregate knowledge from their conversations with users, who do not necessarily represent society as a whole, thus their statements often repeat racist or sexist opinions and may reinforce the kinds of social exclusion they have been fed with.

    Whether they play music, mine bitcoin, or chat with us, the bots’ influence grows. As a consequence of this development, we might ask if we are becoming bots ourselves? As we sit ina stylish co-working space in front of a computer, bots are influencing our decisions. Algorithms numb human agency to a shocking degree, with inevitable implications for perception, memory, and social interactions, whether with bots or among ourselves. Human dependency on computation has become mutually reinforcing on multiple levels, going beyond binary oppositions.

    The exhibition includes artworks based on computer code, as well as artworks that reveal how deeply such code has penetrated our lives, societies, geopolitical situations, fiscal systems, labour conditions, infrastructure, environment, and even the perception of our own source code, DNA.

    With the aid of around 20 works by artists and programmers, the exhibition presents the world of digital code and its future influence in eight sections:









    These key terms form an imaginary map, which serves as the grounds for understanding the world we inhabit.

    From an algorithm that turns the latest media headlines into artistic concepts (DISNOVATION.ORG: Predictive Art Bot, 2017), to the anatomy of a particular AI system (Kate Crawford, Vladan Joler: Anatomy of an AI System, 2018), or a resurrected chatbot, sharing its life story (Zach Blas, Jemima Wyman: im here to learn so :)))))), 2017), artists analyze contemporary realities, in which human and algorithmic agency are interwoven.

    DISNOVATION.ORG, Predictive Art Bot, 2017, two-channel projection, online bot. Installation view, Chronus Art Center.
    Kate Crawford and Vladan Joler, Anatomy of an AI System, 2018, Print. Installation view, Chronus Art Center.
    Zach Blas and Jemima Wyman, im here to learn so :)))))), 2017, 4-channel video installation, Installation view, Chronus Art Center.

    A neural network, a type of artificial intelligence application, was used to depict a machine’s assumptions of how people would think a machine would interpret the mind (aaajiao: bot,, 2017-18). Algorithms construct identities in manifold ways, not just by infiltrating perception and memories, but through their presence and absence in certain geopolitical situations. In the project The Net Wanderer, the artist explores the connection between the critical network gateways in China and the infrastructure running these gateways (GUO Cheng: The Net Wanderer. A TourSuspended Handshakes, 2019).

    aaajiao in collaboration with Quanquan, bot,, 2017-18, single channel video, color; Installation view, Chronus Art Center.
    GUO Cheng: The Net Wanderer. A TourSuspended Handshakes, 2019, interactive installation ;Installation view, Chronus Art Center.

    The discourse of the exhibition is laid out as an architectonic parcours to offer visitors the opportunity to use the workstations for independent creative activities. The spaces of Chronus Art Center bear multiple functions: the exhibition halls display artworks, but are also available for events, workshops, meetups, and lectures, as well as independently browsing Open Codes’ thematically curated library.

    The Shanghai iteration of the project was partially devel- oped in collaboration with the Central Academy of Fine Arts, East China Normal University and Tongji University, as well as with hacker and maker spaces. Selected student works will be presented throughout the duration of the exhibition. The exhibition is generously supported by Vitra. Public programs related to the exhibition are supported by Pro Helvetia Shanghai, Swiss Arts Council and swissnex China.

    Open Codes. Connected Bots is a satellite exhibition of Open Codes at the ZKM | Centre for Art and Media Karlsruhe, Germany, which ran from October 20, 2017 to June 2, 2019.


    Book OpenHub Space 

    OpenHub is a bookable space within the exhibition: 5 tables are available in flexible and modular combinations – one can use all or just a few tables. Facilities include microphones, two permanently installed projectors with projection screen and sound system. With row seating, the area can accommodate up to 40 people, with table groups up to 20 seats. Events spanning from lecture, open night, meetup to workshop and medium-sized conversation are all suitable to OpenHub. The area is characterized by its open and accessible location, which allows the exhibition audience insights into the working processes. For groups of 15 or more, OpenHub makes sense!

    Special thanks to Vitra for the generous support.

    Click on the following link to start booking:


    Co-organized by



    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.



    As a place expanding the original tasks of the museum, the ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe is a unique cultural institution worldwide. Founded in 1989 as a museum with the mission of continuing the classical arts into the digital age, today it is a house of all media and genres, a house of both spatial arts such as painting, photography and sculpture and time-based arts such as film, video, media art, music, dance, theater and performance. This is why it is sometimes called the “electronic or digital Bauhaus” – an expression that is traced back to the founding director Heinrich Klotz. Under the direction of Peter Weibel, the ZKM has developed into an interactive and performative center of the arts that creates new relationships between art and the public.


    Supported by


    In Cooperation with



    March 21 – June 30, 2019
    Chronus Art Center (CAC)
    BLDG.18, No.50 Moganshan RD., Shanghai

    Suzanne Anker, Eduardo Kac, LIANG Shaoji, Oron Catts & Ionat Zurr (The Tissue Culture & Art Project) with Devon Ward

    Curated  by
    ZHANG Ga

    Co-organized by
    Chronus Art Center (CAC), ZHI ART MUSEUM

    Opening Reception & Artist Talk
    March 23, 2019 (Saturday)
    Artist Talk: 4:00 – 5:00 pm
    Opening Reception: 5:00 – 7:00 pm

    On View
    11 am – 6 pm Wednesdays – Sundays
    Admission: ¥ 20 (Free admission on Wednesdays)
    *Free entry after 4pm on March 23.


    Chronus Art Center (CAC) is pleased to present the exhibition Growing, co-organized by CAC and ZHI Art Museum. Growing features the works by four pioneering artists working at the intersection of living organism, synthetic biology and ecological activism.

    Unassuming as it seems, Edunia (Eduardo + petunia) by Eduardo Kac bore witness to the first blossom of human-plant crossbreeding. Suzanne Anker’s most recent work Immortal Cities conjugates specimens from the natural world and items from the industrialized domain cohabiting in an in-vitro cityscape. Titled Vessels of Care and Control, the SymbioticA artists once again stir up a contestation about the role of technical utility, insinuating a provocative perception of incubator both as a contraption of care/nurture and controlled life as well as a conceptual and biopolitical apparatus. Occupying an entire adjacent gallery, LIANG Shaoji presents a comprehensive body of work that encapsulates his long fascination with the life cycle of silkworms, in which a testimony of life unfolds in vivid progression.


    Eduardo Kac: Natural History of the Enigma, 2009. Installation view, Chronus Art Center. Photo: ZHONG Han

    Suzanne Anker: Immortal Cities, 2019. Installation view, Chronus Art Center. Photo: ZHONG Han

    The Tissue Culture & Art Project (Oron Catts & Ionat Zurr) in assistance with Devon Ward: Vessels of Care and Control: The Compostcubator 4, 2016-now. Installation view, Chronus Art Center. Photo: ZHONG Han


    Rather than a rhetoric signifier, the exhibition Growing compels the visitors wi­th an experiential and visceral encounter with life forms of natural origin and of artificial inception, or from symbiotic habitat and transgenic hybridity as sources of becoming, thus problematizing the orthodox of Aristotelian taxonomy, soliciting a prospect that complicates the conception of homeostasis, metabolism and the umwelt as fundamental manifestation of life.  Growing not only attests to such energetics as the impulse of nature, but also illuminates the act of growing as a technological force that extends the notion of nature to a new paradigm in which ecology without nature calls for another reality on the horizon.


    LIANG Shaoji: Fluorescence, 2017-2018. Installation view, Chronus Art Center. Photo: ZHONG Han

    LIANG Shaoji: Listen to the Silkworms/Nature Series No.96, 2006. Installation view, Chronus Art Center. Photo: ZHANG Han



    Co-organized by 


    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.


    Located at the foot of Chengdu’s Taoism Laojun Mountain in Southwest China, ZHI ART MUSEUM’s serene architecture brings to life the beauty and tranquility of Zen. An iconic work by renowned Japanese master architect, Kengo Kuma, the museum embodies the Eastern philosophy of “Learning from Nature.” With the use of water as key feature, and the exploration of natural materials throughout, the architecture organically integrates its surrounding elements harmoniously. The tranquil flow and soft movements surrounding the entirety of the museum allow for contemplation and evoke notions of eternity through its unity with nature.

    ZHI ART MUSEUM focuses to explore global contemporary art and its qualities as a force of universality, in the context of the future, present and past of Eastern aesthetics. The meaning of ZHI is to be an open concept, always striving to move from the world of the known to the unknown, and from the finite to the infinite. Within these parameters ZHI ART MUSEUM’s aim is to explore the integration of human inspiration and technology within the multiple facets of art, while also building a groundbreaking in-depth contemporary art collection and an unparalleled exhibition program, that together will foster a vital contribution to the integrity and creativity of art and art history of the 21st century.

    The museum’s core concept is based on the three principles of: Universality, Insight, and Innovation.


     Supported by 


    Established in 1911, the University of Western Australia (UWA) is a part of the Group of Eight, a coalition of world-leading, research-intensive Australian universities.


    Media Partner




    ZHANG Ga



    Verena Friedrich, Kim Hee-cheon, YANG Jian



    Thursday, November 08, 2018

    3:30 - 4:30 Panel Discussion

    5:00 - 7:00 Opening Reception


    On View

    Wednesday - Thursday 11:00 - 18:00


    Chronus Art Center (CAC) is pleased to present Three Rooms: The Edge of Now, an international touring exhibition contributes to current discussions about contemporary media technologies and the new potentials of artmaking from the perspective of the young generation.

    The Korean artist Kim Hee-cheon attempts to capture perceptions in the gap between virtual and physical reality in his video Lifting Barbells and Sleigh Ride Chill. Through different narrative perspectives, the artist alienates the contemporary Korean society wrapped in the speedy process of digitalization and investigates the proposition of existence in the very context based on his personal life experiences. Verena Friedrich probes on the boundary between vanity and existence in the physical sense through a fragile bubble. Scientific knowledge and technology applied to her intricate device THE LONG NOW allow the bubble to approach the ideal eternity. Wanting to Leave and Narcissus, two works by YANG Jian, on the other hand playfully insinuate that the contemporary conundrum as inherently ingrained in our ubiquitously technological society, in which the variance between intimate and intimidation, the ambiguity between governance and surveillance are nothing but a slight glitch of an encoded reality.

    The exhibition was first launched with the three selected artists at Nam June Paik Art Center in the summer of 2018. The program is designed to support emerging artists through exhibitions and public programs, promoting young artists’ experimentation and practice to gradually construct a systematic global archive for media artists based upon the media art ecologies of China, Germany and Korea.

    Three Rooms is co-organized by Chronus Art Center (CN), ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe (DE) and Nam June Paik Art Center (KR).


    Verena Friedrich: THE LONG NOW, 2015-16. Installation view, Chronus Art Center, November 2018. Photo: ZHONG Han.


    Exhibition view, Chronus Art Center, November 2018. Photo: ZHONG Han.


    Kim Hee-cheon: Lifting Barbells, 2015. Installation view, Chronus Art Center, November 2018. Photo: ZHONG Han.


    Kim Hee-cheon: Sleigh Ride Chill, 2016. Installation view, Chronus Art Center, November 2018. Photo: ZHONG Han.


    YANG Jian: Narcissus, 2015-16. Installation view, Chronus Art Center, November 2018. Photo: ZHONG Han.


    YANG Jian: Wanting to Leave, 2010. Installation view, Chronus Art Center, November 2018. Photo: ZHONG Han.


    CAC would like to thank

    K11 Kollection and White Space Beijing for the support in realizing YANG Jian's work in this exhibition.

    Department for Culture and Education of the German Consulate General Shanghai for the support in realizing Verena Friedrich's work in this exhibition. 



    About the Artists


    Verena Friedrich creates time-based installations in which organic, electronic and sculptural media come into play. Theoretical research and practical hands-on experiments with diverse materials, objects, and functions are the starting points of her artistic work. Furthermore, she is interested in direct interaction with scientists and hands-on work in the bioscientific laboratory. She was an artist in residence at “SymbioticA – Centre of Excellence in Biological Arts” at the University of Western Australia and at the Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing Cologne in Germany.

    Verena Friedrich´s projects have been presented internationally at exhibitions, media art festivals, and conferences. She received the International Media Award for Science and Art from ZKM Karlsruhe 2005; a special mention in the VIDA 13.2 Art and Artificial Life Awards; an honorary mention in the Prix Arts Electronica 2015; a jury mention in the Japan Media Arts Festival 2015 and the Transitio_MX award in 2017. In recent years she has been teaching at the University of Art and Design Offenbach and the Bauhaus University Weimar, both in Germany. Together with two other colleagues, she is currently running the “exMedia Lab” (her focus being on DIY technologies, biological and ecological arts) at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne.


    Trained as an architect, Kim Hee-cheon, b.1989, has in the last few years worked on several film projects, in which he mashes up found and filmed footage with semi-animated elements. His first solo exhibition, Wall Rally Drill, Common Center, Seoul was held in 2015. He has exhibited at various art institutions and biennales such as NJPAC (2018, Seoul, Korea), Istanbul Biennale (2017, Istanbul, Turkey), Atelier Hermès (2017, Seoul, Korea), National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea (2016, 2017, Seoul, Korea), Kunsthal Aarhus (2016, Aarhus, Denmark), SeMA Biennale: Media City Seoul (2016), Kukje Gallery (2016, Seoul, Korea), Ilmin Museum of Art (2015, Seoul, Korea), and Canon Plex Gallery (2013, Seoul, Korea).


    YANG Jian, works mostly with video and installation. He received a BA (2004) and MA (2007) from the Art College of Xiamen University. He was nominated for the artist residency program at The Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten between 2009 and 2010 and received support from Stichting Niemeijer Fonds (Netherlands) in 2010. He received the Special Prize presented by Huayu Youth Award in 2015. He has exhibited in various galleries, organizations and public museums, including Nam June Paik Art Center (Korea), The Galaxy Museum of Contemporary Art (Chongqing), OFFspace (Beijing), CAFA Art Museum (Beijing), Taikang Space (Beijing), and White Space Beijing, among others.





    ZHANG Ga



    Jon Kessler, YAN Lei



    Thursday, November 08, 2018

    3:30 - 4:30 Panel Discussion

    5:00 - 7:00 Opening Reception


    On View

    Wednesday - Thursday 11:00 - 18:00


    Chronus Art Center is pleased to present the international traveling exhibition Datumsoria: Jon Kessler and YAN Lei.

    How images speak and represent has always been a central contention in visual art, particularly in a culture obsessively reliant on visual perception. The technically engendered image and its contemporary namesake the digital image, however, take on very different connotation than that which is rendered by human craft, painting, sculpture or otherwise in the myriad manifestation of contemporary art practice. While painterly image or other mediums employed through various physical materials are also beholden to ambiguity and poetic elucidation, image production through technical mechanisms opens a temporal dimension and energetic velocity that evokes more physiological - emotional intensity than an art which privileges critical distance for contemplation and signification. Images originated through dynamic manipulation of data on the fly furthermore defy the regime of representation, eliciting bifurcation of the referential and estrangement of intentionality, often alienating and sometimes even nonsensical, begging for an alternative logic for illumination and signification.

    Known for his ingeniously crafted kinetic works, often inflicting a twist on pop culture imagery, Jon Kessler’s explicit portrait and figure, namely the supermodel Gisele Bündchen and the artist’s ten-year old nephew, are as manipulative as evasive by way of a mechanically rendered flurry of speeds and kaleidoscope of juxtapositions and superimpositions, insinuating infinite regressions and expansion at the same time, reminiscent of a paradoxical mixology of anxiety, humor, desire and failure that is characteristic of the contemporary American ethos or the world at large. The conceptual artist YAN Lei, on the other hand, resorts to Machine Learning as an added intellectual device in order to question conceptualism’s very gist, that of the power of signifying, making aware that in the age of Internet and Artificial Intelligence the production of meaning is as multifaceted as it is unstable and can sometimes be perilous. In the seemingly contradictory display of visual strategy, the voyeur and the exhibitionist and the constant inversion of the protagonists further complicated by their respective social intricacies, the works by the two artists nevertheless implicitly partake in the electro-mechanical prowess augmented irrevocably by digital volatility and algorithmic incidents, challenging the very notion of image as sign or as signifier.   

    This exhibition is the third iteration of Art & Technology @ program under the auspices of Datumsoria.  A neologism, Datumsoria conjugates datum and sensoria, denoting a new perceptual space immanent to the information age.



    YAN Lei: RÊVERIE Reset2017. Installation view, Chronus Art Center, November 2018. Photo: ZHONG Han


    Jon Kessler: Gisele and the Cinopticon, 2004. Installation view, Chronus Art Center. November 2018. Photo: ZHONG Han


    Jon Kessler: I'm Nothing Without You2012. Installation view, Chronus Art Center, November 2018. Photo: ZHONG Han.



    About the Artists


    Jon Kessler, b. 1957, Yonkers, New York. With his chaotic kinetic installations, Jon Kessler critiques our image-obsessed, surveillance-dominated world. His machines are at once complex and lumbering, combining mechanical know-how with kitschy materials and images. Structurally complex and narratively engaging, Jon Kessler’s multimedia sculptures often deliver an emotional punch beyond their humble means. With his distinct vocabulary, Kessler taps into our all-too-real modern-day anxieties, but at the same time, spirits us away into an exciting wonderland that is ultimately uplifting. 

    Kessler received his BFA from SUNY Purchase and the Whitney Independent Study Program. He was included in the 1985 and 2017 Whitney Biennials and his works are in many permanent collections including MoMA, Walker Art Center and MoCA. He has taught at Columbia University since 1994.


    YAN Lei graduated from the Zhejiang Academy of Fine Arts (now known as the China Academy of Art), in Hangzhou, in 1991. Yan is a singular and unconventional figure in the Chinese contemporary art world. Adopting an independent and distant attitude, he explores and unveils different issues, such as power relationship, competition or the closeness of values and prices, that exist in the art system, through various media ranging from painting, sculpture, installation to video and performance. His works often incorporate multiple and often contradictory values. This ambiguousness shows, on the one hand, the artist’s alertness to and reflection on the various problems in art making today, and on the other, the solitude that he has from being part of the system and his complex feelings confronted with vulgar reality.

    YAN Lei has participated in a great numbers of international exhibitions, including Istanbul Biennial, Guangzhou Triennial, Sao Paulo Biennale, Kwangju Biennale, Shanghai Biennial, Venice Biennale, etc.  He has also had solo exhibitions in museums such as the Hong Kong Art Centre, the UCCA Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing, and the Aspen Art Museum in Colorado in the United States. In 2002, YAN Lei was awarded ‘Best Artist’ by the C.C.A.A. (Chinese Contemporary Art Awards). He was invited to take part in Documenta in Kassel, Germany, in 2007 and 2012.



    Machines Are Not Alone: A Machinic Trilogy

    July 21 – October 21, 2018

    Chronus Art Center (CAC)

    BLDG.18, No.50 Moganshan RD., Shanghai


    Curated by

    ZHANG Ga



    Tega Brain, DENG Yuejun, FENG Chen, GUO Cheng, HsienYu Cheng and Ting-Tong Chang, Tomás Saraceno, Karolina Sobecka (& Christopher Baker, Jamie Allen), Saša Spačal and Mirjan Švagelj, Gail Wight, ZHENG Da


    Supported by

    Pro Helvetia Shanghai, Australia Council for the Arts, Hong's Foundation for Education & Culture


    Special Thanks

    The Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia, City of Ljubljana - Department for Culture, Kapelica Gallery



    Saturday, July 21, 2018

    3.30 – 5 pm  Panel Discussion

    5 - 7 pm  Opening Reception


    On View

    11 am – 6 pm Wednesdays – Sundays

    Ticket:   ¥ 20 (Free admission on Wednesdays)


    Chronus Art Center (CAC) is pleased to present the group exhibition Machines Are Not Alone: A Machinic Trilogy.

    The world is machinic: not only does its function depend on a network of machines but also the land, river, mountains, trees and animals, humans included, are machines of some sort when seen from an operational point of view or an abstract sense of the word because they are systems of interconnected biospheres, neural synapses, motor-sensor coordinates, psychosomatic attributes, social relationships and technical milieus imbricated and intertwined, transversal and reciprocal as intricate as the relationship between humans and thoughts, knowledge and freedom. Far from a mechanistic vision of dualism, this worldview of machines, apparatuses and devices is one that envisages a unity which endorses giving everything its due place as equally significant and worthy of respect and care.

    The exhibition Machines Are Not Alone shows that the machinic ecology is as mechanological as organological of the co-individuation of human organs, technical organs and social organization, therefore machines are not alone in that they all work, operate and function with other machines, whether of their phylum or of other orders. Machines Are Not Alone also implicitly unveils a simple but evident theorem that all that is interdependent can only be tended to as such, so that a symbiosis of Heideggerian fourfold of the Earth, Sky, Mortals and the Divinities may through machinic mediation, come to a true realization.

    The exhibition is fitted with sky machines, earth machines, and many other geoengineering and emotive devices and apparatuses, moved by transportation machines and custom machines and activated by exhibition machines, workshop machines and audience and participation machines.


    HsienYu Cheng and Ting-Tong Chang:Secondlife-Habitat, 2016 ©CAC, Courtesy Hong's Foundation for Education & Culture. Photo: ZHONG Han


    Saša Spačal & Mirjan Švagelj: Meta_bolus, 2017 © Courtesy CAC, Kapelica Gallery. Photo: ZHONG Han


    Gail Wight: Pool, 2017 © Courtesy the artist. Photo: ZHONG Han


    Taiwanese artists HsienYu Cheng and Ting-Tong Chang create a bio-electronic device Secondlife-Habitat to play a humorous game of dilemmas with audiences that conveys their basic outlook —— life should not be “differentiated by proportion, scale, and form.” Another collaborative group, Slovenian artist Saša Spačal and scientist Mirjan Švagelj, hints on the disruption caused by human's inherent non-selective pharmacological spuriousness with their installation Meta_bolus by exposing two connected metabolic processes that take place in nature and the artificial extraction of antibiotics. In the video installation Pool, American media artist Gail Wight unveils the miniature worlds under the tide pools of Salt Point State Park in northern California. Chinese artists DENG Yuejun ignites the spokes-machine of his sound installation O that takes sunlight as part of the energetic actants, while media artist GUO Cheng plays with The (temporary) gadget to interact with the background radiation levels in the atmosphere. Tomás Saraceno showcases his participatory project Aerocene in White Sands (New Mexico, United States), a buoyant sculpture supported by collective intelligence and environmental factors that mobilizes the geographical boundary with a new infrastructure. Swiss-based artist Karolina Sobecka takes on the in-depth research of carbon circuit system and situates her collaborative project Picture Sky and Field Remediations: Carbon in the local community of Shanghai. The projects engender meaning and evoke significance in the process of working and making. In resonance with Sobecka's projects, Tega Brain brings her land-oriented project Deep Swamp to explore a sustainable way of living with the local wetland system. ZHENG Da's Physiological Responses II presents self-performance of the 270KG machines. Consisting of various electronic systems and 600 cooling fans, the installation takes on a conative suggestion that machines might have their inherent autonomy in the routine of mechanization. In the installation W, FENG Chen reconstructs the camera that has influentially altered the way we see and hear the world. The mechanic installation operates as a wedge exploring the interactions between one's perception machines and creativity machines.


    DENG Yuejun: O, 2016 © Courtesy the artist. Photo: ZHONG Han



    GUO Cheng: The (temporary) gadget, 2018 © Photo: CAO Daxu


    Machines Are Not Alone further extends the notion of subjectivity into the realm of nonlife and the object world, both cultural and natural, technology and psychic, proposing a radical rethinking of modernity, freedom and emancipation in a posthuman symbiosis.


    Tomás Saraceno: Aerocene in White Sands (NM, United States), 2015 ©CAC, Courtesy Aerocene Foundation. Photo: ZHONG Han


    Karolina Sobecka & Christopher Baker: Picture Sky in Mexico City, 2015 © Courtesy the artist. Photo: ZHONG Han


    Karolina Sobecka & Jamie Allen: Field Re-mediations: Carbon, 2018 © Courtesy the artist. Photo: ZHONG Han


    Taga Brain: Deep Swamp, 2018 © Courtesy the artist. Photo: ZHONG Han


    The exhibition starts its ignition at Chronus Art Center in Shanghai in the summer of 2018, continues to Zagreb Contemporary Art Museum in winter to become Device Art Triennial 2018, and finally lands at the Guangdong Museum of Art as a component of 6th Guangzhou Triennale. Each traveling iteration will root itself in the local milieu and create interconnections with its immediate surroundings and umwelt logistically, ecologically and psychosocially as if a living act of the Three Ecologies. Together the trilogy maps out a machinic trajectory that transverses oceans and lands, places and sites; integrates climates and communities and adapts limitations and expansions for a resounding machinic chorus.


    ZHENG Da: Physiological Responses, 2016 © Courtesy the artist, Photo: ZHONG Han


    FENG Chen: W, 2015 © Courtesy the artist. Photo: ZHONG Han