Marc Lee will display his new work “Non-Places” at UNArt Center’s premiere exhibition The Kind Stranger, among 43 works from 38 artists made in the decade from 2008 to 2018, covering a diversity of mediums. The Center is located in the former site of Dongchang Cinema, the first of its kind in Pudong.
Titled as “The Kind Stranger”, the show aims to reflect and to some degree respond to the new conditions and scenarios of the contemporary human society driven by the accelerating technological revolution. The entire exhibition is based on a fictional scenario: “The Kind Stranger”, as the protagonist of the story, is a character who lives “post-singularity”. The exhibition is reminiscent of an investigative scene in which the “private collections” of this “kind stranger”, whether in physical or digital forms, are uncovered. The site remains ambiguous in its temporal or spatial anchor, whilst inviting the audiences to locate, even orient the items, the text, the sound and vibe, even him/herself, as part of the story to enjoy a psychological retreat from the year 2019, and the city Shanghai.
The humanism coordinates need to be interrogated for us to still orient: can it go towards the same direction as before, or a radical transformation is on the horizon? Would the “new era” be truly “new”? The exhibition does not attempt to provide any solid answer for these interrogations, but as a cultural event, it may still tap on the situation that we’re all immersed in: a time of significant transitions, something we all have to go through. The exhibition touches on the discussion of “new cognitive capabilities”, as a positive response to this transitional time.
Marc Lee’s video installation “Non-Places” deals with urbanization and globalization in the digital age. The videos are screenshots of his ongoing work “10.000 Moving Cities – Same but Different, VR (Virtual Reality)“.
In the synchronized videos, the user moves through visual worlds posted publicly by others on social networks such as Flickr, Freesound, Twitter and Youtube. The viewer participates in the social movements of our time and makes a virtual journey in which one experiences local, cultural and linguistic differences and similarities. In virtual space, this information is visualized on cubes that rise at different heights to become a skyline.
The work deals with how our cities are continuously changing and increasingly resemble one. This results in more and more non-places/places of lost places in the sense of Marc Augé’s book and essay Non-Places, which could exist all over the world without any true local identity.
Me, Myself & I
With the development of technology, the value and drawbacks of virtual reality technology in the Internet wave are more and more clearly displayed in front of people. New media artist Marc Lee is dedicated to creating technologies such as web and virtual reality, and is dedicated to exploring the vision and limitations of the information society through artistic means. Marc Lee will bring you thinking and discussion about information interaction and popular culture.
“Me, Myself & I” questions egocentrism and narcissism as widespread contemporary phenomena and their most popular, in-famous declination: the selfie culture. The digital era emphasizes the individual, who are seen more and more at the center of society, rather than being part of it.
Selfishness and narcissism are widespread, as selfie culture shows: we send mini-me’s into the increasingly important virtual space of our society to make others aware of who we are and, most importantly, who we wish to be. Fiction, fantasies, exhibitionism, confessions, self-indulgent activities, solipsism motifs are the drivers behind our virtual life, with corporations and media shaping our (perceived) reality and exploiting recklessly our desires and fantasies, leading us further away from reality. The permanent representation of the lives of others also creates pressure to depict one’s own life, which becomes a design object, and strengthens the spiral of staging through selfies and body cult.
This is where “Me, Myself & I” steps in and offers us an opportunity to develop new states of perception. In the virtual environment, images and reality are perceived unmistakably and unambiguously as being mutually incompatible. This helps the participant to decouple externally constructed realities from their natural environment.
Marc Lee, born in 1969, is a Swiss artist. He is creating network-oriented interactive art projects: interactive installations, media art, internet art, performance art, video art, AR, VR, and mobile apps. He is experimenting with information and communication technologies and reflects critically creative, cultural, social, economic and political aspects.
His works are exhibited in major Museums and new media art exhibitions including: ZKM Karlsruhe, New Museum New York, Transmediale Berlin, Ars Electronica Linz, HMKV Dortmund, HeK Basel, Fotomuseum Winterthur, Read_Me Festival Moscow, CeC Dehli, MoMA Shanghai, ICC Tokyo, Nam June Paik Art Center, Media Art Biennale and MMCA Seoul.