Media: Mixed media, Video installation
Time length: 2'8'' now (work still in progress)
Exhibition: Red Brick Art Museum, Beijing, 2021-2022. Xie Zilong Photography Museum, Changsha, 2022
By utilizing ground-transmitted images and a self-directed satellite camera, Xu Bing integrates man-made pictures with those captured from an orbit, creating a captivating animation that blurs the boundaries between Earth and space. Imagine the “standard person'' traversing outer space, carrying a bundle in tow while words spill out of their baggage. As the satellite orbits around the earth 15 times each day, the language depicted in the animated spills changes in sychronization with the satellite’s position above certain geographical locations. This work represents far-reaching concepts that shape the existence of humanity such as language, human civilization, and linear time—reminding us to look back at our blue earth in the context of zero-gravity conditions in space, to cherish the only home we know: this one single small blue dot. As the audience witnesses this video within the confines of a gallery, the artwork unfolds simultaneously and ceaselessly in outer space.
Artificial Intelligence Infinite Film (AI-IF) Project
Lead Team: Xu Bing, Feng Yan, Zhang Wenchao, Sun Shining
Medium: Artificial intelligence generated film with variable duration
Time Length: Variable duration
Exhibition: The 5th Pingyao Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon International Film Festival, 2021 Museum of Art Pudong, 2021-2022
This project works closely with artificial intelligence scientists to develop a real-time feature film production artificial intelligence system that involves no human production personnel (directors, screenwriters, photographers, or actors, etc.). In this interactive exhibit, the audience can input their preferred film genre (such as science fiction, crime, romance, etc.) and customize the narrative plot or style of the movie by entering keywords or sentences, resulting in a unique AI-generated movie. This project aims to pursue an element that transcends human creation and fulfills a demand that is absent in traditional film. Its concept emerges from human biases, including narrow emotional perspectives, political and economic interests that breed greed and immorality, as well as limitations in knowledge that impose restrictions. AI suggests the “internal structure” of human life by accumulating various human image materials from a neutral standpoint. This project is largely an experiment of the future possibilities of AI film.
Video, surveillance camera footage taken from public live-streaming websites
I’ve wanted to make a film from surveillance footage since 2013, but I had no access to the necessary resources. Since 2015, surveillance cameras in China have been linked to the cloud database: countless surveillance recordings have been streamed online. So I took up the project again. I collected a huge amount of footage and tried to use these fragments of reality to tell a story.
With no human agency operating them, surveillance cameras produce fascinating footage round the clock. Ineffably silent, these cameras record incessantly. Sometimes they record images that are beyond logical understanding, captured in one mad, fleeting instant. When these seemingly random yet intricately connected clips are assembled, what's the distance between the video fragments of real life and 'reality'?