COMA is pleased to present an exclusive viewing room in the form of a rave like hyper-space screening Digital Jungle, a 14-hour long virtual party. Exhibiting online from 4th November to the 9th December 2022, Digital Jungle is curated by V33N0, a curatorial collective as part of MARTIN GOYA BUSINESS, Shanghai (MGB). Founded in 2017 by video artist Cheng Ran, MGB is an experimental platform committed to connecting the emerging art scenes of Hangzhou with exhibition opportunities, artist networks and various institutions. At their core, MGB challenges China’s understanding of what is ‘high art’ by retorting traditions with experimental art forms, espousing CGI and 3D Internet art.
Please join us at COMA Chippendale on Friday, 18th of November between 6 – 8pm for a screening of Digital Jungle and Orbital Radio’s Klub Spontanea playing exhibiting artist Psycho Nozomu’s bespoke mix for the night.
LimboLimbs, included in Part 3 of Digital Jungle, [人与自燃Human and Nature], recorded performance
Digital Jungle combines the works of 30 artists edited together to be experienced as a 14-hour virtual rave. Formulated like a techno festival, the audience watches dj set after dj set, each paired with alluring frenzied visuals. These videos are the works of the emerging video artists and musicians of Hangzhou’s underground club scene. Video game visuals created by rising CGI stars, Linyouxie, Zhu Jinkun, and Chillchill collide with V/DJ sets created for techno nightclubs in Shanghai such as All club. The viewer is engaged in a visual tapestry of alternative worlds where aliens, life sized banana men and cats rhapsodically dance in time to rapid BPM techno music.
Axion2814, included in Part 3 of Digital Jungle, [人与自燃Human and Nature], recorded performance
The frenetic energy of the technically skilled animations flicks the switch between body and mind, where you succumb to dancing along with the avatars on the screen. However, when viewed in its entirety, this video work is as much about China’s loyal techno communities as it is about the dizzying rate of consumption our internet-driven culture is compelled. Artist Zhu Jinkun depicts moose decaying next to men underneath magic mushrooms in baron wastelands. Moments later lines of cadets march in sync, their colour and identity are stripped. Though his medium is video game technology, Jinkun’s practice asks philosophical questions about life spent online; do humans and animals have digital rights and what happens when our virtual lives come to an end?
Jinkun, like many of the artists exhibiting in Digital Jungle, studied in Hangzhou, at the city’s China Academy of Art. Located two hours west of Shanghai, Hangzhou is home to an emerging artform, CGI video art. Most renowned of the rising group is contemporary artist, Lu Yang, who this year was named ‘Artist of the Year’, awarded by Deutsche Bank for her video game alternative virtual worlds that contemplate the nature of consciousness and reimaginings of non-binary multi-dimensional alternatives to gender. Yang also graduated from the China Academy of Art in Hangzhou, studying under Zhang Peili, ‘the father of Chinese video art’. Peili broke new ground in 1988 with his 3-hour long video work 30 x 30 cm where the artist repetitively smashed a mirror and glued the shards back together. Though monotonous to watch, this work paved the way for video art as a recognised medium in Chinese contemporary art. Since then, Peili has been viewed as a pioneer not only for his own projects as a video artist, but also as an influential educator at the Academy in Hangzhou where he has taught new media art for the past twenty years.
Shanghai’s and by proxy Hangzhou’s 2022 lockdowns were harsh and long. During this period the artists of Digital Jungle spent more time online than ever before; granting their reflections on digital consumption to echo their interactions with the virtual world. Rapid technological developments, the influence of Hangzhou Academy’s new media art department and the barrier between IRL and the virtual becoming porous, has gifted these artists with a unique set of skills to build alternative realities with unforeseen technical feat. They have the proficiency to survive on the Internet and will dance while doing it.
QwentyZ & Cattin Tsai, included in Part 1 of Digital Jungle [電.信_號：Electronic Signal], recorded performance
Watch Digital Jungle here
Part 1 of Digital Jungle: 電.信_號: Electronic Signals Psycho Nozomu (LIVE) & Zhu Jinkun (VJ), QwentyZ (LIVE) & Cattin Tsai (VJ), Limbolimbs (DJ) & LazyBackHome (VJ), Maguro (DJ) & 阳光奶牛SunshineCow (VJ), As3Oo0 (DJ) & Chillchill (VJ), Kongbb (DJ)& ZunyuH (VJ), yun.ling&Yaxu,
Chuns!ut, 喜辰晨, Silkboi (DJ) & Shiiin.u (VJ), Marac made with Peggy, PUZZY STACK x 秃子2z & LINYOUXIE, FoxPaw
Part 1.2 of Digital Jungle: [電.信_號: Electronic Signals]
Part 2 of Digital Jungle: [奇异毛绒世界 Fancy Furry World], Goten, Chuns!ut & AZOK-神之愛, DAwNWOLF, GRNWOLF
Part 3 of Digital Jungle: [人与自燃 Human and Nature], LimboLimbs, 排卵兄弟（RSBSBLT & MOREMORE）, Axion2814, Cocoonics