LIFE> Odds and Ends
Synthetic Times in real world
By Zhu Linyong (China Daily)
Updated: 2008-06-17 11:53

One of the exhibits in the Emotive Digital category created by a group of Swiss artists titled Etoy has accommodated the specter of death within the digital age.

The artists have presented their Mission Eternity in a standard 20-ft shipping container carrying human mortal remains, concrete and LED matrix monitored by Linux software.

Net art pioneers Etoy, who have been developing Mission Eternity since 2005, present their latest project as the cult of the dead in the digital age of information technology. Mission Eternity deals with existential topics, such as the conservation and loss of memory, the future, the present and the past, and life and death. These topics are provocatively and brazenly transposed to the age of digital communication and information technologies.

New media artwork hit a cultural dimension in the form of a paper banknote printed with Chinese characters. It was handed by Etoy members to Chinese viewers, which is an aspect of rural burial rituals.

Dutch artist Marnix de Nijs actualized his impression of a rapidly changing Beijing in Beijing Accelerator, an interactive installation that visitors wait in line to sit inside and experience a breath-taking video game.

South Korean artist Kichul Kim's Sound Drawing in the Emotive Digital category is inundated with curious visitors drawing with a graphite pen that "sings" as it produced images.

One of the most eye-catching items in the Here, There and Everywhere category is Newscocoons.

It features a suite of pulsating furniture that displays news - user-generated videoclips, pictures, stories, and blogs - fed from geographically dispersed sources. The cocoons glow and breathe slowly. Each tracks a specific keyword (such as "body", "emotive", "recombinant", "alienation", and "reality") and aggregates related local content created on the Internet by both amateurs and professionals.

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