Synthetic Times attempts to identify issues that characarize contemporary experiences deeply influenced and augmented by the ubiquitous computing technologies. It seeks to, under the technological construct of space and time, raise questions about the relationship between human and its extended self, its relationship towards the digitally enabled instruments and environments, its perception about the empirical world and its relationship with the society at large.

Works in the exhibition explore the trajectory of unruly visions from the desire to transcend the corporal to the construction of synthetic worlds, from telematic dreaming to transgenic hybrids, challenging the very notion of what we know as reality and what is perceived as being human.

The exhibition is organized around four distinctive yet interrelated themes.

“Beyond Body” aims to delineate the multiple routes of artistic endeavors in extending the physical body, raising questions of subjectivity and the norms of ethical codes. This exhibition component brings to focus the most current conception of cyberspace, transgenic illusion and the bio-electro afterlife and other fantasticals.

“Emotive Digital” examines the multitudes of digital life, where machines and devices become responsive creatures. Interactivity is not merely a simple give-and-take calculated procedure, but is imbued with sensitivities that invigorate emotional and reciprocal exchanges. It suggests a new symbiotic territory that awaits our close attention, for better or for worse.

“Recombinant Reality” poses questions of epistemological urgency in which a Cartesian world view no longer ensures comfort, and syllogistic reasoning finds no suitable dwelling. The notion of space not only is a pure production, but also a transient fluidity that oscillates between the familiar and the estranged. This exhibition component identifies multiple directions in which mixed reality, virtual reality and acoustic environments reveal new types of reality that reshape our notion of existence.

The internet has mutated into a pervasive, all-encompassing membrane of connected machines that operate on a planetary scale. It is the network that bears the sign of the times, it is “Here, There and Everywhere”. This section includes works that take the network as a departure of inquiry, into the disputed realms of public and private, and the quixotic journey of cyberspace.

Zhang Ga
Artistic Director / Curator