is ambiguous and a byproduct of retinal overload suggests
an estrangement which artists strive to reconcile.
A recombinant reality is reality processed, meditated,
elucidated and transcended, one which is beyond the real
yet possesses substance. It is an ontological one that
beckons the anonymous, an aesthetic one whose resonance
is the utterance of discord, and a logical one therein
syllogists find no dwelling.
It is truer than that which is real.
It seeks to reveal, to disclose, to clarify what the real
hides from us and bewilders us with. It tells a story of
sorrow, narrates a tale of mischief, unfolds a drama of
passion and dictates a passage of wisdom. It attempts to
The extension of reality with a binary pulse, the digital
reality, has ushered in a new fascination with packets,
protocols, and bitmapping of invisible sphere, the new
constituents of the reality. The technological sublime
overwhelms and consumes, inspires and subdues. It is a
dazzlingly blinding force run amok.
Yet, it is a reality that longs for reconciliation, to
fill with its hollowness the flesh of life, for the virtual
cannot sustain itself without the real, and the real can
only be made sense of when recombinant.
Let us therefore sojourn into the nether and yonder land
of that recombinant reality. Let us not be a captive of
the binary, but let humanity prevail.
Working with network technologies, artists in this exhibition
seek to come to terms with that reality. They manifest
diverse visual and perceptual undertakings, from powerful
vision of the terrible, as seen in Eryk Salvaggio’s
September 11, to LeCielEstBleu’s normality gone absurd,
from Shu Lea Cheang’s meandering across the tangible
and the imagined where home(less) is homepage(less), from
Sawad Brooks and Beth Stykers' problematic equilibrium
to Olia Lialina’s murmur of an unspeakable melancholy,
from Wolfgang Staehle’s meditative contemplation
to Zhang Ga’s implicit commentary in a transposed
time and space. They set forth environments, milieus, images,
and language to suggest complex structures that engender
a psychological impact and leave an emotional residue.
Towards a recombinant reality.
—Zhang Ga, September 2002