video installation - 13 min 13 secs
Connecting the imagery of the ring light, a lighting device commonly used by vloggers, cam models, and a proliferating group of those now working from home and living on screens, with that of the annular solar eclipse, Æther marks a continuation of the artist’s reflection on personal subjectivity and its entanglement with an increasingly immersive and omnipresent online culture.
Reflecting on the reversed relationship between the body and its screen representation, the concept of leakage is an underlying theme that runs throughout the visuals and script written by the artist, as an exploration of the imperfect transmission between virtual pixelated objects and backdrops into physical life.
The sphere of the ring light and the solar eclipse becomes an orifice which the camera permeates, as overlapping language of evolution and gestation considers the spatiotemporal untethering of our social and technological conditions. Imagery of abandoned infrastructure situates the viewers in our increasingly distanced and contained virtual worlds, pointing to the potential loss of embodied encounters. Through the delivery of a cam model and a mukbang vlogger, drawing on classical Chinese philosophy on body and being, the work aims to encourage the viewers to re- discover their physical bodies under the currently mediated circumstances.
by Shuang Li
director of photography Mateusz Scibor
animation Ren Du
text Shuang Li
voice over Nati Kati, Shuang Li, Sorcha McConnell
featuring Lhaga Koondhor, Nati Kati
commissioned by Rockbund Art Museum, Shanghai and Para Site, Hong Hong, courtesy Peres Projects
support from Peres Projects, Berlin