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Contemporary East Asian Postinternet Art of the Moving Image

Contemporary East Asian Post-internet Art of the Moving Image:

Post-production, Circulationism, and the Layers of the Global and the Local

Jihoon Kim (Chung-ang University, South Korea)

March 12, 6pm

GEM Lab (FB630.15), Concordia University

This paper discusses two contemporary East Asian artists, Lu Yang (Chinese) and Kim Hee-cheon (Korean), who have produced an array of moving image artworks reflective of the postinternet condition, a situation that the internet and digital technologies are no longer perceived as new but as fundamentally restructuring our subjectivity and world. In doing so, it examines the hybrid aesthetics of software applications employed by both artists, as well as their common expression of the fundamental overlaying of the virtual datascape (derived from the user experiences of VR, video games, cellphones, etc.) with the physical space and the human body, in terms of the two key ideas of postinternet art: first, Nicolas Bourriaud’s ‘postproduction’ which refers to the dominance of recycling, refashioning, and recombining existing media information and forms over the production of a new artwork; and second, Hito Steyerl’s ‘circulationism’ as a concept that refers to the strategies of postinternet art to intervene in the accelerated circulation of the images in the digital environment and their incessant proliferation in our real space, experience, and subjectivity. By opening a platform for intersecting the ideas of postproduction and circulationism with the theories of globalization and transnationalism, which has yet been discussed in the existing study of postinternet art, I argue that a key specificity of the postinternet art of the moving image in contemporary East Asia lies in its attempts to create the spreadable images of multiple political, aesthetic, and cultural layers. This means that the layering of the virtual and the physical spaces, which characterizes the two artists’ figuration of postinternet and posthuman sensibilities, should be seen as expressive of the contradictory and unstable coexistence of the global and the local.

Jihoon Kim is associate professor of cinema and media studies at Chung-ang University,

South Korea. He is the author of Between Film, Video, and the Digital: Hybrid Moving Images

in the Post-media Age (New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2016). His essays on film theory,

experimental film and video, art of the moving image, cinema and contemporary art, digital

cinema, and experimental documentary have appeared in Screen, Film Quarterly, Camera

Obscura, Animation: An Interdisciplinary Journal, Millennium Film Journal, Leonardo

Electronic Almanac, and the anthologies Global Art Cinema: New Histories and Theories

(Oxford University Press, 2010), and Taking Place: Location and the Moving Image (University

of Minnesota Press, 2011), among others. Currently He is working on two book-length projects, each entitled Documentary’s Expanded Fields: New Media, New Platforms, and the Documentary and Post-vérité Turns: Korean Independent Documentary in the Twenty-first Century respectively.

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