Synthetic Reality

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single channel video projection on polypropylene film, sound track and loudspeakers generating motion

Shi Yong’s audio-visual installation QQ’s Illusion portrays the loneliness of virtual existence. A video clip that depicts an individual gesticulating violently, as though struggling against an invisible confinement, is projected onto a polythene film sandwiched between 4 pairs of loudspeakers on four corners, from which a synchronized sound track is roaring. Played at a deafening volume, the exaggerated sound of clinking and bumping, periodically interrupted by a heroic hymn, not only provide viewers with an acoustic energy, but also with a physical one: the violent motion of the polythene film driven by the loudspeakers, thanks to the strong electronic signals. Illusion, or delusion, is precisely what today’s ‘audio-visual reality’ (Pual Virilio) feeds us, many of whom are increasingly indulged in the hallucinatory universe of the coded humanity, in which QQ resides, as the largest virtual community in China. Shi Yong employed an ironic strategy in revealing to us the lonely happiness of a QQ dweller, the happiness that is realized without any physical substance and the happiness that is purely ‘audio-visual’.


Shi Yong - Biography / some other works