1 August 2008

Synthetic Times - Media Art China 2008 is an official cultural project leading up to the Olympic Games this summer. Presented by the National Art Museum of China (NAMOC) and directed by international media arts curator Zhang Ga, Synthetic Times will showcase both established and emerging artists from approximately 30 countries. Over 50 media art works will be on view along with performances, workshops and symposia.

The exhibition, which runs from 10 June until 03 July 2008, is organised around four distinctive themes. Each theme examines man's pursuit of an ideal world through artistic intervention into the pervasive media and communications technologies of today. Beyond Body explores the multiple artistic routes in extending the physical body. With work from artists ranging from Sissel Tolaas, Theo Jensen and Stelarc's Third Ear, which recently featured in FACT's sk-interfaces exhibition, this section of the exhibition is designed to expand our sensorial perceptions and create a symbiosis with cyberspace, transgenic illusion and the bio-electro afterlife.

The second strand, Emotive Digital looks at the multitudes of digital life where machines and devices become responsive creatures and contribute to our perception and understanding of the world in an emotive and tactile way. The Recombinant Reality identifies multiple directions in which mixed reality, virtual reality and acoustic environments intertwine to reshape our notion of existence.

AL and AL feature in the fourth and final theme, Here, There and Everywhere, which takes the network as a departure of inquiry into the quixotic journey of cyberspace. A unique collaboration between innovation and creativity, east and west, Synthetic Times brings together key individuals from the most prominent modern and contemporary artistic institutions in the world, including Eyebeam in New York, MoMA (Museum of Modern Art) V2_Institute for the Unstable Media of Rotterdam, Ars Electronica of Linz and the China Academy of Fine Arts.

To coincide with the international tour of AL and AL's work, FACT will present a season of films celebrating the diversity and breadth of cinema from China, in particular throwing the spotlight on Olympic hosts Beijing. Selected features will be preceded by a medley of international shorts Vision Beijing inspired by life before the Olympics and a new film by the great filmmaker Tian Zhuangzhuang.