ZHANG
HAOYAN

Lee Bul

In Lee Bul's works, audiences often feel her persistence in Utopian themes.

She try to save themselves from the ruins of the great past, or to find themselves. According to Ernst Bloch, a German philosopher, it is necessary to have a creative imagination and a revolutionary enthusiasm before change occurs when we try to intervene in this "uncertainty" or "unknown" to really change them, rather than just stay in the level of fantasy. This statement explains Lee Bul's fascination with Utopia expressed in her works, and it can also be seen as the reason why she regards this tension of Utopia as the motive force of her creation.

Fantastic Planet

The story of Fantastic Planet can be understood as taking place in the era after the collapse of human civilization. The descendants of human beings are called Omes. They live on the planet of the alien blue giant Daggers. The Daggers civilization has supertechnology and meditation, and reproduction also depends on cross-planetary meditation. The Oms are Daggers'pets, half the size of their fingers. The protagonist of the story is a pet named Tel Omes, who accidentally learns Daggers'knowledge about the world and escapes into the wild Omes community, leading the community to break down the slavery of the Daggers through learning and technological progress, and to achieve a peaceful coexistence of civilized relations with them.
The plot is doomed from the first minute to the end. It is the alienated images, such as architecture, antennae and pitcher grass, that really capture my attention. None of them are identical to our world. But after looking closely, in fact, every item in our life has a mapping.

Pierre Huyghe

In previous                             , I tried to create a surreal scene that not only stimulates the audience's senses, but also makes them feel that it is an unnatural "natural phenomenon" which is far from our normal environment. Despite my great efforts, the results did not meet my psychological expectations.  For this reason, in the next few months I decided not to touch on this type of subject until I could find a solution to the problem. Then I had some thoughts on this issue after I saw Pierre Huyghe latest work at the Serpentine Gallery's exhibition ‘Pierre Huyghe:                 ‘on the last day.

'Pierre Huyghe:UUmwelt'

Apart from the work itself, the most impressive part of this exhibition is that it is full of flies. Pierre Huyghe put many flies into Serpentine Gallery and let them hatch, grow and multiply in the exhibition hall, made them part of the exhibition. (It is said that at first he wanted to use butterflies, but after the complaint from some people he changed to flies.) This makes the whole exhibition unpredictable in the course of its existence. And in the artist's plan, he creates an initial environment that makes it possible for what will be happened next, the exhibition has the function of self-presentation.

*Flies at the exhibition

Through Pierre Huyghe's research, I found a solution to the previous problem and it is closely related to his artistic conception. His works often present a complex system of self-construction. In his words: I am not making fantasies, I am creating new realities.He broke away from the perspective of anthropocentrism and extended his artistic practice to the category of ecocentrism, so that people's attention shifted from human itself to the whole ecosystem. And he often makes living creatures part of his exhibition: a macaque wearing human face mask lived in human environments, and a dogs with a pink leg patrolling around the whole exhibition. These seemingly absurd conditions make the work as uncontrollable as the real environment, and this uncontrollable factor is a powerful evidence to convince the audience. 

'Human Mask '

'Human'

'Untilled'

<Brave New World>

At the beginning of this year, I did a lot of research on Utopia in order to participate in the exhibition of                    . It took me a long time to finish reading this beautiful new world.

On the surface, <Brave New World> and <1984> depict two opposite futures, one from power and control, the other from alienation, which influences people's ideology from the unconscious field. But, internally they all depict a 'stable social model' of elite's domination.

After reading this book, I realized at least these following points:

Ray Bradbury wrote a short article "World Inside", and now we can see that its structure and core is very similar  with <Brave New World>:  

A perfect society supported by technology; An elitist class stratification; To satisfy people's original desire; Elimination of undesirable individuals; The rebellion of bad individuals; Entering primitive society; And finally rebel failed, the city continued to operate.

This routine is basically the same as <Brave New World>. It seems that science fiction works might hardly go farther on this issue than <Brave New World> which shows the significance of its classics.

There is an eternal question about free will and primitive desire, and I don't think Huxley gives a complete answer in his book. Will human beings inevitably seek free will? Is there a difference between the ordinary people driven by desire and the rational and independent elite?

Universe 25

John Bumpass Calhoun (May 11, 1917 – September 7, 1995) was an American ethologist and behavioral researcher. 

In 1968, he built a utopian world called "Universe 25" for mice, which could meet all the needs of mice. Although Calhoun has made every effort to ensure that the "Rat Residents" of this perfect society never lack anything in their lives, in two years, almost all the rats have died.

After 315 days of the experiment, Calhoun noticed that things were starting to go wrong. First, the growth rate of the number of mice decreased significantly.

In addition to the decline in population growth, Calhoun also found sudden changes in behavior in both male and female mice. The social bonds between mice collapsed, and male mice became frustrated because they did not need to defend their territory and food sources and attacked their peers wantonly. Similarly, female mice began to abandon and even attack young mice, and both male and female mice stopped reproducing.

The end result of the experiment was that all the mice in Utopia died a few months later. Calhoun pointed out that although the mice survived for several months after the last one was born, they had actually entered "mental death" from day 315, meaning the breakdown of social relations. This rupture means that "their spirits are dead and they can no longer perform more complex actions than the survival of species. In this environment, species die.

Calhoun believed that his experiment was a wake-up call for mankind. He believed that overpopulation would inevitably lead to the collapse of society and the extinction of mankind.

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