Digital material is never natural. It is
either generated or repurposed, and
always pre-inscribed with meaning. It settles in sediments, turning the Web
into a veritable billboard land: a frenetic free market in which corporations, private citizens, and fictional conglomerates all wave their own signs. It is a landscape rich with fiction, contradictions, and disjuncture. The new quickly becomes obsolete, and the old is continually revived. Internet-based montage, the assemblage of distinct materials into a new whole, is therefore both an inevitable and perpetual accident and an emerging, illuminating art form....
Montage is the final exhibition in Unmonumental: the Object in the
21st Century at the New Museum
of Contemporary Art.
China Tracy, the avatar of artist Cao Fei, is the protagonist of i.Mirror, the twenty-eight minute, three-part documentary staged in Second Life, the vastly popular virtual world built and maintained by its users. Her experiences, including travel, mundane encounters, a complicated romance, and the forging of friendships, are extensively recorded as is the way her virtual life impacts and overlaps with Fei's own. While China Tracy's rich second "life" provocatively suggests new kinds of relationships and even global cultures, the overarching mood of i.Mirror is one of melancholy. The documentary presents an elaborate picture of how fantasies, frustrations, and hopes manifest in dense new worlds online, and yet are moored irrevocably to their offline origins.
Born 1978, Guangzhou / Lives and works in Beijing, China. Fei graduated from Affiliated Middle School of Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts in 1997 and received a B.F.A. at Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts in 2001. Fei works in video, installation, photography and online. Her work has been shown internationally, most recently at the Chinese Pavilion in the Venice Biennial. Courtesy of the artist and Lombard Freid Projects, New York.
GENERAL URL: lombard-freid.com