From the very first moment that a “cave man” picked up a piece of flint to carve and cut meat 3.6 million years ago humans have become reliant on a growing number of tools, from compasses, to reading glasses, abacuses, and modern day computers. Today, with the exception of tribal societies we are all mostly living within the network. Katherine Hayles defines the posthuman body as the “original prosthesis” and all of the other tools we use to communicate are merely an extension of that process. Donna Haraway described us as cyborgs “chimeras, theorized and fabricated hybrids of machine and organism”.
Using this idea of the networked human being—now inseparable from our tools–the curator selected four artists from four regions of Asia to explore the question of human identity in a post-human world. Tian Xiaolei constructs a world where actual bodies have become virtualized and human encounters are re-cast in the language of anonymity and gaming. Wu Tzu-ning looks at our networked existence and both in terms of the identity and the mobility of the networked being — a world of surfaces. Katsuki Nogami examines how is the technoself (our online identity), when left unprotected, can be easily hijacked and repurposed by other bodies and Shinseungback Kimyonghun use technology to help humans extend their boundaries of perception thus challenging our anthropocentric view of the world.
Each artist group will present a solo project to be exhibited consecutively from November 18, 2016-April 28, 2017. Exhibitions will feature artist talks and a publication, “Foreign Bodies: Human Identity in a Posthuman World” with a series of texts by artists and academics to accompany each project.
The exhibition series “Foreign Bodies” contributes to the regional project of Goethe-Institut “Data Dreams”.
About the exhibitions
Foreign Bodies: Human Identity in a Posthuman World
Dates: November 18, 2016-April 28, 2017
Curated by: Rebecca Catching
Exhibition Dates: Nov 18-Dec 9, 2016
Exhibition Dates: Dec: 16, 2016-Jan 13, 2017
Exhibition Dates: February 24-March 24, 2017
Shinseungback Kimyonghun (Shin Seung Back + Kim Yong Hun)
Exhibition Dates: March 31-April 28, 2017
Sun Shaoyi, Ming Turner, Kensuke Sembo and Kok Yoong Lim
Location: Department for Culture and Education of the German Consulate General Shanghai (101 Cross Tower 318 Fuzhou Lu, near Shandong Zhong Lu, Huangpu, Shanghai)
Courtesy of the artists and Department for Culture and Education of the German Consulate General Shanghai.