Li Ming, Rendering the Mind, 2017, video still
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These frontiers are critically investigated and presented in their complexity, and these aesthetic forms refuse to subjugate to existing and dominant apparatus of the sensible. It exemplifies what Vivian Ziherl raised as a frontier formalism: “frontier formalism is strongly invested in aesthetic tactics of representation through rebellious images; images that chafe against existing arrangements and that posit undeniable demands for another shape and sound of the global symphony.”

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Jes Fan, Mother Is A Woman, 2018, video, sound, color, 4 min 44 sec. Videographer: Asa Westcott.   What is a body made of, and how does that impact the way it is perceived? Does an impression of a body reflect its constitution? Artist Jes Fan posits these queries by investigating how the material science of…

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Wong Kit Yi, Uploading Consciousness to a Lotus Root, 2018, single channel HD Video, 20 min. I made a promise that expires in 99 years [1]. At the Golden Computer Centre [2], I transferred my body’s lease on life to the Emperor. Filled out the form: red hair, pale skin, female. Couldn’t remember my birthdate….

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There seems to be a certain fetishization surrounding the concept of experimentation. Maybe the idea of experimentation is linked to the idea of creating something “alternative”—another deeply fetishi…

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DADA CANNOT BE EASILY ACCEPTED, NOR EASILY REJECTED. IT RECALLS THE WORDS OF THE “DADA MANIFESTO”: “… THAT’S IT. BUT OF COURSE… IT’S A QUESTION OF CONNECTIONS, AND OF LOOSENING THEM UP A B…

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Dada is not at all modern; it is rather a return to a quasi-Buddhist religion of indifference. —Tristan Tzara Conference in Weimar, Germany, 1922 As often pointed out by modern art historians, notably…

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Without the aid of mirrors, artists seem to be incapable of self-reflection. Their images and works are constructed and processed in the face of the many peers surrounding them, one orbiting another l…

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I fell in love with the idea of Jaakko Pallasvuo after watching Vanilla (2011) on Vimeo. The shaky forty-second clip features the artist rubbing ice cream onto his face, hair, and body at an exhibition opening. Dancing erratically to “Drop It Like It’s Hot,” onlookers clap and cheer the artist on in the background. This…

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“You know the way animals are… They’re run by instincts. You can’t expect them to behave morally. It likes to eat, it likes to have sex… Don’t expect too much from a thing like that. Just take it for what it is.” —Scarlet Droppings (1990), George Kuchar Cinema has historically been a fecund site of…

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To invoke the notion of the muse around Juliana Huxtable seems out of fashion. After all, the title was tirelessly anointed to the 28-year-old artist, poet, and DJ as she gradually emerged from various sites across New York’s cultural landscape. The most recent case-in-point: the 2015 New Museum Triennial, in which the audience was confronted with Juliana, a life-size sculpture of Huxtable’s naked body by Frank Benson, exhibited alongside Huxtable’s own poetry and photographic portraiture. Media sensationalism sugarcoated her with the muse appellation and infected almost all of the popular websites and magazines.

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The basic premise of the Lovelace test, created to determine intelligence within the cognitive sciences, is that a machine must originate an idea on its own. Ada Lovelace, for whom the test is named, argued that this was the marker of true intelligence. In distinction to the Turing test—which tests the ability of a machine…

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The question of the muse is, first and foremost, one of etymology. Our wispy shadows still draw us into the deep and blinding morass of history. The many gods of Mount Olympus are assumed to be older than history, which begins with their actions to protect humanity. Yet still more ancient than the Olympian gods…

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Pour être honnête, je ne sais comment s’y prend Guan Xiao. Lorsqu’on se penche sur la manière dont elle s’empare des matériaux et les unit dans son œuvre, on se sent un peu comme dans une séquence de l’émission The Brain (1), où un participant examinait au microscope une centaine de poissons rouges. L’analogie n’est…

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To be honest, I don’t know how Guan Xiao does it. Looking at the ways she grabs and synthesizes materials in her work, it’s a bit like watching a contestant on The Brain(1) microscopically examining a thousand goldfish. This isn’t a totally apt analogy, for today it’s nearly impossible to quantify—and to describe, even—just how…

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Shenyang, a representative industrial city built during the socialist era, is one of eight Chinese cities with a major art institute. The pace of life is relatively slow, the pressures of daily life relatively light, and, even if the city is, in many respects, somewhat backwards compared to first tier cities, it is not particularly…

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Filmmaker, artist, activist and organizer Wu Tsang describes herself as “multi-multi”(1)—a description she deploys in order to explain a position predicated on hybridity and contradiction. This approach to identity, and the refusal to be categorized in normative terms, has been somewhat of a constant in Tsang’s life. Born in Massachusetts, USA, in 1982 to a…

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“They all look the same,” Europeans used to say about Chinese people; now, it’s what first-tier citizens say about third-tier cities. Whether it is Jixi in Heilongjiang, Dongguan in Guangdong, or Tangshan in Hebei, lieux de memoires associated with critical moments in China’s history have become apparently faceless collections of buildings interchangeable with each other….

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LEAP 47 | Spring/Summer 2018

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