Due to the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak rapidly raging throughout the world, we are experiencing an unprecedented historical time, 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, the exhibition is presented online in collaboration with a network of other hosting institutions. The works included in this exhibition are network native, exploring the potential of mobile technologies, particularly with a creative and critical appropriation of various social media platforms.
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.
We=Link: Ten Easy Pieces features 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.