Lawrence Lek double-bill: Geomancer & Sinofuturism

Wednesday 18 April / 6.30pm / The Box /FREE/booking required

 

Running time: Geomancer (48 minutes), Sinofuturism (60 minutes).

 

Join FACT for a double-bill of films from London-based artist Lawrence Lek. Lek’s work uses the visual language of computer games to produce site-specific works that simulate real-world environments and create fantasy narratives.

 

Heralded by the futuristic computer-generated cityscapes that have become a signature feature of his work, Lek’s mini-opus Geomancer explores a longstanding tension between the place of the human and the role of the machine, sharpened by contemporary hopes and anxieties around the rise of East Asia, and by speculations that new forms of artificial intelligence, already outperforming mere mortals in matters of automation and aggregation, will challenge us in more creative skills as well.

 

 

 

Sinofuturism is a video essay combining elements of science fiction, documentary melodrama, social realism, and Chinese cosmologies, in order to critique the present-day dilemmas of China and the people of its diaspora.

 

Sinofuturism is an invisible movement, a spectre already embedded into a trillion industrial products, a billion individuals, and a million veiled narratives. It is a movement, not based on individuals, but on multiple overlapping flows - of populations, of products, and of processes. Because Sinofuturism has arisen without conscious intention or authorship, it is often mistaken for contemporary China. But it is not. It is a science fiction that already exists.

 

With reference to Afrofuturism and Gulf Futurism, Sinofuturism presents a critical and playful approach to subverting cultural clichés of China in Western media and Orientalist perceptions - where China is seen as exotic, strange, bizarre, kitsch, tacky, or cheap - as opposed to its domestic media, in which China is portrayed as heroic, stable, historic, grand, and unified. Rather than counteract these skewed narratives, Sinofuturism proposes to push them much further by embracing seven key stereotypes of Chinese society (Computing, Copying, Gaming, Studying, Addiction, Labour and Gambling), it shows how China's technological development can be seen as a form of Artificial Intelligence.

 

Geomancer was commissioned for the Jerwood/FVU Awards: Neither One Thing or Another, a collaboration between Jerwood Charitable Foundation and FVU. FVU is supported by Arts Council England.

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