NOWSHOWING 2020: Post Mass-media
Exhibition Entrance: https://ualcssa.art/
- When entering the virtual exhibition, please move the mouse to control the angle of view, and use W A S D keyboard to control the direction of movement
- Please allow sound in browser setting; the video sound will play automatically when the mouse pointer is placed over the video.
- There are statement labels around the work, it enlarges automatically while the mouse is placed over it.
- In Reality Hall, the artist Yiyao Hu’s work National Address needs to be clicked to play.
Post Mass-media features 16 distinct artworks from 15 artists, marking the ninth NOWSHOWING exhibition in 2020. NOWSHOWING is an annual exhibition franchise held by the Chinese Student and Scholar Association of UAL (UAL CSSA). We are honoured to invite a new generation of artists, providing a platform for exchange and communication to encourage cross-border artistic interactions. In speaking of NOWSHOWING, this exhibition franchise anchors its focus upon the most controversial, distinct theme or concept of the year. Due to the contingent situation of the pandemic, the 2020 NOWSHOWING will be taken online, besides extensively calling for Chinese artists from the United Kingdom, China, and the United States. On this occasion, we thus break through the former NOWSHOWING ‘s geographical limitations via a virtual space, and actively collaborate with the art academies in north America. The exhibition will be launched online on the 9th of May. The private view will commence on the opening day from 21:00 to 00:00 (Beijing Time) / 21:00-00:00/ (London Time).
As COVID-19 spreads , we have witnessed that the information and virtual space have become the carriers of devastation. Based on this unprecedented nature, the World Health Organization (WHO) has thus coined the coronavirus with new epidemiological vocabulary：‘infodemic’. What has been wantonly propagated is not only the virus itself, but also the overloaded fake information and panic that aroused. In this particular episode of the pandemic crisis, social media and virtual spaces have become indispensable means of communication, as well as discussing countermeasures. Therefore, anchoring post-mass-media as the starting point, in acutely aware of the contemporary contexts and public health, this year’s NOWSHOWING migrates to cyberspaces, transforming into an online exhibition. The 2020 NOWSHOWING curation team has constructed collaboration with the Vrch team, forging together a virtual space in highlighting immersiveness and interactiveness. Simultaneously, works will also be exhibited on the video sharing website - Bilibili. Through its distinct features of ‘Danmuku’ (bullet screen) and the autonomous choices of its ‘interactive video’, we seek to present new possibilities of art viewing and criticism.
As the pivot node deduced by many forward-looking science fictions, 2020 carries numerous fantasies of future changing in human behaviour patterns: no matter cooperation or conflict, production or consumption. For those who reached and even surpassed such a significant node, the most ubiquitous sensation of transformation would be within the realm of information and communication.
Up to the 'Roaring 20s' (1920), precisely one hundred years ago, the flourishing radio broadcasts, films, and newspapers made up the concept of mass-media. Immediately, mass-media has infiltrated every fragment of modern society: everyone is directly or indirectly connected with mass media. All aspects of public life, such as information sharing, value transmission, the formation and transformation of mass culture are derived under the influence of mass media.
When approaching the contemporary Post-mass-media era, we have witnessed collections of mass media's fundamental leaps and evolution. Authorities and even national leaders have bypassed traditional mainstream media, harnessing social network platforms as means of directly communicating with the public. Thus, we have observed the concentrated emergence of a new propaganda apparatus, such as live broadcast, comments on hot internet topics, the personification and idolisation of official agencies. It is believed that these phenomena reveal a Post-Truth era, in which public opinion is mainly driven by affections and emotions, and social media become the new mainstream media. Nevertheless, in the realm of culture and entertainment, the birth of virtual avatars (virtual influencer, virtual Idol) suggests an unimagined alternative of the "appearance and image-driven celebrity industry ". Of course, more bewilderment and anxieties exist in such an era: a new social body compiled by face recognition technology, big data algorithms, and CCTV, may lead to the complete annihilation of privacy. Artists are also under the threat of potential competition—the replacement by non-human art creators, the artificial intelligence (AI).
Therefore, in 2020, 100 years after the birth of mass media, as a response to its numerous reformations, we will invite artists to explore and prospect the uncertainty and possibility under the Post-mass-media era. By using art to reflect contemporary transformations, and with the help of artistic foresight, imagining our life of future, the dissemination of media, and the performance of art in the post-media era.
Chinese Student and Scholar Association of UAL (UAL CSSA)
WANG WU, LIANYI WANG, MANQIAO FANG, YIZHI ZHANG
PARTNER & TECHNICAL SUPPORT :