CERN Accelerating science

An online exhibition, a network of solidarity

Chronus Art Center (CAC) is pleased to announce the presentation of a special online exhibition “We=Link: Ten Easy Pieces,” featuring new commissions by the artists aaajiao, Tega Brain & Sam Lavigne, JODI, LI Weiyi, Slime Engine and YE Funa in conjunction with works by Evan Roth, Helmut Smits, Yangachi and Raphaël Bastide. The exhibition was made possible through the generous support of Art Center Nabi (Seoul); Rhizome of the New Museum (New York); and the concerted efforts by 12 institutions around the world.

The exhibition is available online from 30 March 2020. Visit the exhibition here.

Due to the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak rapidly raging throughout the world, we are experiencing an unprecedented historical moment, and social and economic routines have been interrupted, including cultural programming. More than ever, art remains an essential force to galvanize and rejuvenate. In lieu of a physical exhibition restrained by the lockdown, Chronus Art Center sent out an open call to the international media art community in early February to initiate a special online exhibition as a response to the current uncertainty and a time of anxiety. The proposal has since received committed responses from the international community.

Titled “We=Link: Ten Easy Pieces,” alluding to the American actor Jack Nicholson’s iconic movie Five Easy Pieces with a subtle twist on WeChat, the popular Chinese social media platform, it will be exhibited online in collaboration with a network of other hosting institutions. The works presented in this exhibition are network native, exploring the potential of mobile technologies, particularly with a creative and critical appropriation of various social media platforms. In conjunction with this online exhibition, CAC also aims to use this opportunity to recapitulate the importance of net art practice, which was crucial in contributing to early discourse on internet culture and constitutive during the formative years of new media art as a genre, continuing to play a vital role in shaping the dynamics of an ever more pervasively networked society.

The title “We=Link: Ten Easy Pieces” denotes a community of solidarity as a network of empowerment. The reference to Five Easy Pieces prompts an evocation of an implicit existential anxiety, a sense of estrangement and soul finding: Ten Uneasy Pieces indeed. On the other hand, the title “We=Link" elicits a silver lining—a streak of hope to carry on.

Rather than an explicit outcry against the current public health crisis, this online project addresses a general state of humanity that is under pressing peril of natural and social disruptions and precariousness, demonstratively manifested in the coronavirus outbreak, which is partially the cause of the magnitude of the virus itself and partially beholden to a failure of governance.

This online exhibition is also presented as a project of First Look: New Art Online, a New Museum online program and archived at https://www.leonardo.info/welink-ten-easy-pieces provided by Leonardo/The International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology (Leonardo/ISAST)

Co-commissioning Institutions:

 Chronus Art Center (CAC), Shanghai www.chronusartcenter.org

Art Center Nabi, South Korea www.nabi.or.kr/en/

Rhizome, www.rhizome.org

Co-hosting Institutions:

Arts at CERN (Geneva)  www.arts.cern

e-flux (New York) www.e-flux.com

HeK (House of Electronic Arts Basel)  www.hek.ch

iMAL (Brussels)  www.imal.org

LABORATORIA Art & Science Foundation (Moscow) www.newlaboratoria.ru

Leonardo/ISAST  www.leonardo.info

MU Hybrid Art House (Eindhoven)  www.mu.nl

SETI AIR/SETI Institute (Mountain View) https://www.seti.org/artist-in-residence

V2_, Lab for the Unstable Media (Rotterdam) www.v2.nl