Blog

Dream Umbrella 03

nar-duell_0012

“I dream of breathing underwater and my body filling up with cool, refreshing water instead of blood.”

Blog — Nokan Vlodovic, December 25, 2008 @ 12:28 am

Dream Umbrella 02

bibbeumb

“My dream symbol — my personal symbol that is in every dream is always a house of some kind
That is why i do my birdhouse installations because for me its all about home I guess.
The other recurrent theme is multiple births.
Well, we have the baby
I am in a swimming pool or a tub or in a grocery store and you pop them out
I give birth to a litters of human babies
There are so many; like puppies or kittens, but they are human”

Blog — Nokan Vlodovic, December 24, 2008 @ 11:20 pm

Speedism Speeds Through RMB City

speedism-21

Recently RMB City Office had a visit from Speedism, the Belgium-based visual artist/ architect duo of Julian Friedauer and Pieterjan Ginckels. During their brief stay in Beijing, the pair had created one of their trademark “Speed Trips” – a surreal bus journey around the city with a group of other curious explorers, stopping at unusual places (from a baroque castle to artist Xu Bing’s workshop to a secret village) and getting a speedy montage view of the urban landscape.

Later they stopped by RMB City to share their creative process with our team, and discuss various possibilities for perhaps “speed-tripping” through a more virtual city in the future…

Speedism will also be participating in the Performatik festival next month, where RMB City will have a new project debuting as well (more on that to come). Happy tripping, Speedism!

speedism-11speedism-32speedism-41

Blog — Miniature Tigerpaw, @ 10:19 am

Save the date: RMB City’s official opening

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After almost two years’ gestation, RMB City is going to open its door to the public on 10 Jan, 2009. Apart from the City’s opening ceremony, there will be two highly-anticipated events at that very special day. The first one is a virtual Feng Shui project by young artist Huang He who will bring the ancient Chinese methodology of sptaial use into a virtual space. The second event is the announcement about RMB City’s first mayor.

Download English Press Release here
Download Chinese Press Release here

Blog — Nokan Vlodovic, December 21, 2008 @ 9:46 pm

RMB City: Open Now, Art Asia Pacific Special Project

aap61_rmb_2

RMB City is featured in the new issue of Art Asia Pacific, which is also the 15th anniversary of the magazine. Readers can have a look at RMB City through the form of a conceptual “real estate listing,” and get excited for our upcoming opening.

Download PDF here.

Press — Miniature Tigerpaw, December 18, 2008 @ 2:46 am

RMB in the News: Art Asia Pacific

aap61_rmb_2

RMB City is featured in the new issue of Art Asia Pacific, which is also the 15th anniversary of the magazine. Readers can have a look at RMB City through the form of a conceptual “real estate listing,” and get excited for our upcoming opening. Pick it up on newsstands in your city!

Blog — Miniature Tigerpaw, @ 2:39 am

Dream Umbrellas 01

01-Smiling Sands

My dream umbrella would be black
- it would contain TIME- Roman Numerals
- numbers would issue from it
- I would travel through time when I flew with it

Their would be old clock faces on the outside of the umbrella

and ideally the umbrella would tick tock like an old grandfather clock

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Blog — Ume Freiman, December 16, 2008 @ 11:28 pm

A letter back to Mianmian

Letters always connect people in some way.One of Mianmian’s love letter recipient decided to write back to Mian Mian and thank her directly for the letter..

Dear Mianmian,

Thank you for your letter which I enjoyed very much. It’s good to hear
from you.

How did you guess I was not where I was expected to be? And my eyes
never closed to sleep. Well, they closed once or thrice, but not for
rest. I’ve met a boy, a french boy, ten years younger than me. He’s
mature for his age, as I am young for mine. He is an incredible lover.
Funnily, we’ve both worked for the porn industry – he as a graphic
designer, me as an art director for a magazine. But music is how we
connected. We locked eyes at Strangeways – beneath spinning lights and
deep hearty bass – he was cold and needed a blanket. I warmed him from
his toes to his belly to his mouth. He wrapped his scarf around my
neck and pulled me towards him. My eyes closed….and so it began.

But you, Mianmian, where did you sleep last night? I’d like to know.

-Katya

Blog — Ume Freiman, @ 10:40 pm

Interview with Cao Fei, DiAAAlogue

Diaaalogue Editor Sue Acret spoke to Chinese artist Cao Fei about her Second Life project, her view on the virtual world and her generation.(中文版本)

Susan Acret: Please tell us about your avatar China Tracy and the RMB City work and how the online world of Second Life became a platform for these works.

Cao Fei: During the creation of i.Mirror and the China Tracy Pavilion (A machinima-documentary about China Tracy’s first explorations of Second Life, and the large-scale installation where it premiered at the 2007 Venice Biennale), I started to think about creating a place that belonged to China Tracy within Second Life… her own ‘city utopia’. China Tracy felt that since most cities within Second Life were Western in style, she wanted to represent some of her concepts about Chinese urban development in a space that incorporated Chinese aesthetics and identity, albeit in a surreal hybrid style.

S.A: You’ve said that your generation, brought up in a digital world, ‘will always compare virtual and real’ and that sometimes the boundaries between the two can be blurred. Your art reflects this movement between these two spheres. What opportunities do virtual worlds offer artists that are not available in the ‘real’ world?

C.F: Second Life is a world where the conventional free-market economy still applies. Although we call it a virtual world, its economic structure and the virtual currency is tied with the ‘real’ economy. From a visual perspective, Second Life appears to be hyper-real and excessively imagined. Combined with its uncertain identity, it can be mysterious and enigmatic to people. On arriving in this virtual world, China Tracy was attracted by the hyper-real prison, but also felt an unavoidable sense of oppression.

Although the boundary between virtual and real is becoming more and more blurred, the way the virtual world contradicts and coincides with reality offers something ambiguous and complex. This, to a certain extent, enhances our lives as a whole, providing a reference for the exploration of individuality and the nature of life.

Another reason that the virtual world appeals to me is that it transcends obstacles in reality, despite being hyper-real. It offers a virtual platform for human beings to experiment with a possible utopia, such as building an individualistic heaven, drafting laws and systems, generating new discussions and thoughts, etc.

S.A: Perhaps the main difference between virtual and real worlds is one of control. Though taking up an avatar offers a certain extent of autonomy and control to your visitors, you are still the mastermind behind the RMB city. Has any avatar’s behaviour been completely beyond your expectations or control?

C.F: Not yet, because the official public launching of RMB City is 10 January 2009. We look forward to having extraordinary people visit and miracles occur. Regarding the control issue, we just have some basic rules that are appropriate to the Chinese style; otherwise, there is no strict restrictions on avatars.

S.A: How many collaborators have you worked with for your RMB City project? How do you find your collaborations with these ‘real’ people?

C.F: Collaborators involved in RMB City include collectors, galleries, scholars, researchers, artists, schools, various exhibition projects, commissioned projects, biennials and triennials, etc.

1. Collectors
We invite collectors to actively participate in the actual development of the city. For example, we invited Mr Uli Sigg to be the first governor of the city (for 3 months), in order for him to oversee and propose a blueprint for the utopia of RMB City in terms of its systems, construction and direction.

2. Public organizations
We are now working closely with Serpentine Gallery. They are one of the real information centres for RMB City. Also, UCCA which will collect RMB City, will have a virtual art gallery and other independent projects. Some art organizations are willing to rent spaces to be involved in this project and also develop their own projects.

3. Exhibition/ Project
I have realized personal projects for biennials and triennials via RMB City, for example, for the 2008 Yokohama Triennial and New Orleans Biennial, as well as on some consigned projects, such as H Box’s video project. I would like to some overseas artist residency programs to take place the RMB City’s platform.

4. Other
We invite different parties (not just limited to the art field) in the real world to participate in the virtual world. We also invite Second Life avatars who are interested in our project.

Therefore, RMB City insists on ‘the cooperation of virtual and real’: collaborators should come from both worlds. Through this process, we hope to improve conventions and develop a new path.

S.A: Your use of internet platforms such as You Tube and Second Life is a democratic, open way of creating work, insofar as it is available freely to large numbers of people all over the world. Do you often get feedback from ‘non-art’ audiences on the internet?

C.F: Yes. I have received emails and messages to China Tracy in Second life, and comments on my YouTube videos, and friend-offers via My Space and Facebook.

I quite like these different forms of feedback from different channels, and meeting different people in different worlds.

S.A: What will happen to real estate prices in RMB City? Will there be a crash like that in the real world!?

C.F: There’s no significant change so far. A crash seems unlikely. We may consider launching some land-sale preferential policies, and increasing various land renting strategies.

S.A: Born in the late 1970s and brought up in the ’80s, can terminologies such as Generation X (the consumerist generation) or Generation Y (the Net-generation or Generation Why) describe who you are? From COSplayers to the RMB City project, are your art projects the result of generational influence or your personality?

C.F: Since 1978, China has undergone an inevitable reorganization. Before we were ready to respond, we were already receiving all kinds of influences from a new time. Everyone is the product of a generation; ‘I’ am an individual as well as a transcendental object. Perhaps a young person who attempts to influence the world or China Tracy who surfs around the virtual world, are indeed coming from the same route. And as for me, I remain extremely close to yet with an appropriate distance from any of these worlds. This gives me a macro view of the ‘world’. And then I decide how I should deal with it and derive my system to process all the complex messages of life. In Chinese terms, it involves entering (reality) and renouncing (the virtual) the world simultaneously. This journey is to experience both worlds while constituting the two.

S.A: Works like Whose Utopia? focus on China’s industrialization and the cities and factories that feed production. Does your work have a social/moral message?

C.F: You could say Whose Utopia? is related to themes such as political economics, globalization, the world factory, and social and moral, and so on … What I hope for my work is for it to remain in an open context where it can stand objectively, without being cynical or ambiguous. It does not require a ’correct’ perspective, or hypocrisy. It just needs an honest presentation and expression, leaving an open space for discussion. It is with this notion that I began RMB City.

問(Susan Acret):
請你介紹一下你的化身「中國翠西」及作品《人民城寨》,你如何使用第二人生(Second Life)中的網絡世界作為發展作品的平台?

曹斐:
當我創造《我.鏡》及“中國翠西館”(China Tracy Pavilion)時 (這是一齣關於中國翠西初次體驗「第二人生」的電腦遊戲紀錄片,在2007威尼斯雙年展時配合大型裝置作品首映),我打算為在「第二人生」裡創造一個屬於中國翠西的空間,一個她的理想城市。中國翠西覺得「第二人生」裡面大部份城市都是西方式的,她想看到中國城市化的特色,一個符合中國美學、身份,哪怕是風格突兀、格格不入的城市。

問:
你提過,你是屬於在電子世界長大的一代,你們「慣於比較虛幻與真實」,而且兩者的界線經常模糊。你的藝術涉足真實與虛幻兩個世界,到底有甚麼東西是虛幻世界能提供,而在真實世界是無法找到的?

曹斐:
「第二人生」依然是一個奉行古典自由市場經濟的世界,儘管我們稱它為虛擬世界,但它的經濟模式還是通過虛擬貨幣的匯率和現實經濟緊密聯系在一起,而在視覺層面它給人的印象總是過度複制現實或無所不能的擴充想像,予人無限虛空之感,加上性別難辯的化身身份的存在又為這個很現實的虛擬增添了許多神秘與渾濁。初來乍到的中國翠西被如此高度近似現實的虛擬全景監獄所吸引,並曾產生過在虛擬世界也無處可遁的壓迫感。儘管虛擬和真實的界限越來越模糊,但虛擬為現實所帶來的錯位與意外,之間交駁出的矛盾和複雜性,從另一個維度上看確實豐富了我們生命的整體性,為探索自我、生命本源提供了更多注腳。而虛擬世界吸引我的另一個重要原因是它雖複制了現實但在某些地方超越了現實的屏障,它為人類實現烏托邦願望提供了一個可被實驗、可被實現的虛擬方式,如建設個人化的城邦樂土,自行擬定法律與制度,構築新的輿論和思想實驗田,等等。

問:
也許虛擬與現實世界的主要分別是監控。雖然使用一個化身擁有一定的自主權及可監測你的參與者,但你仍是《人民城寨》背後的主腦。你有沒有見過一些參與者的行為是超乎你的想像或監控?

曹斐:
還沒有,因為《人民城寨》正式對外開放是2009年1月10日。我們很期待看到非同凡響的人物與奇跡發生。關於城市背後的總監控,我們隻擬定出最基本的符合有中國特色的行為規則外,其餘基本上對化身不作嚴格規范。

問:
你在《人民城寨》中,有多少個合作夥伴?你如何與這些「真實」人物合作?

曹斐:
參與《人民城寨》項目的合作者包括了收藏家個人和美術館機構,以及學者、研究者、 藝術家個人,學校課題組,各類型的展覽項目,委託製作項目,雙年展/三年展等等。

1.收藏家個人
我們邀請收藏家本人積極卷入城市發展的具體過程。如我們委任Mr.Uli Sigg當任城市第一任市長(為期3個月),讓他對《人民城寨》的制度/建設/發展方向等提出烏托邦藍本以及作出定時監督。

2. 公共機構
目前,我們和倫敦的公共藝術機構Serpentine Gallery緊密合作,它是《人民城寨》在現實世界的信息發佈中心之一。還有參與收藏《人民城寨》的UCCA,他們在《人民城寨》內有自己的虛擬美術館以及發展獨立項目。此外,一些藝術機構願意采取租借城市某些建築的方式來參與此項目,並獨立運作他們的藝術計劃。

3. 展覽/項目
我把我本人的雙年展/三年展項目移植到《人民城寨》上進行,如2008 橫濱三年展, 新奧爾良雙年展。以及一些對《人民城寨》感興趣的委託藝術項目,如H BOX的錄象項目。包括一些異地的藝術家駐村計劃我也建議通過《人民城寨》的平台來實現。

4, 其他
針對《人民城寨》不同的藝術項目,我們邀請不同的現實人物加入虛擬城市的構建當中,這當中將包括不同領域的人(不僅是藝術界)。我們還邀請對我們項目感興趣的第二人生的化身來參與。

因此,如《人民城寨》一直堅持的“虛實兼併”,合作者來自虛實世界,並襲用改良傳統舊資源的同時開發新線索、新路向。

問:
你使用的網上平台如You Tube, 「第二人生」都是民主及自由的創作方法,並可傳播至世界各地。你可有收過網上來自「非藝術界別」觀眾的回應?

曹斐:
有,他們有電郵給我,在「第二人生」留言給中國翠西,在YouTube留言或邀請我在My Space 及Facebook作他們的朋友。

我挺喜歡這些來自不同渠道的回應,及認識世界不同角落的人士。

問:
《人民城寨》的房地產價格可會有何改變?可會如現實般下跌?

曹斐:
目前還沒有什麼改變,崩盤暫時看似乎是不可能的。我們將考慮出台一些購買土地的優惠政策,以及相應增加租借土地的多樣化策略。

問:
作為生於1970年代,成長於80年代的一代,X 世代(消費主義世代)或Y世代(網絡世代或問號世代)這些稱呼可代表你嗎?你的作品如《角色》、《人民城寨》,是否受時代影響或是你的性格使然?

曹斐:
1978年後的中國,是一個不得不被重新配置的世界,還沒待我們反應過來就已經在接受新時代的各種熏化。每個人都是一個時代的產物,“我”即為時代下的個體也為客體。或許,那個站在樓頂企圖幻想用魔力降服世界的少年與雲游虛擬世界之顛的中國翠西同出一轍。而本我,對任何世界都保持著極度接近又有著恰當空隙,這能讓我清楚了解自身所置的廣義“世界”,然後再決定用何種方式去面對、梳理這些貌似複雜的生命線索,用中國傳統說法對應我所描俗的狀態是:“入世(現實)”與“出世(虛擬)”並駕。而這個旅程,也是一個相互轉換體驗並在其間嘗試建構的這麼一種過程。

問:
你有些作品如《誰的烏托邦》關注工業化的中國及不同生產城市及工廠。你的作品可有社會/道德信息?

曹斐:
《誰的烏托邦》你可以說它涉及了政治經濟學,全球化/世界工廠,社會道德/社會正義等等議題。而我希望一個作品最好的狀態是保持其全息開放的語境,始終能站在中間觀看的立場,不需要一針見血也不含糊其詞,不需要所謂的“正確”出發點,也不佯裝道德虛假,始終真誠的表現與表達,留有開闊透明的討論餘地供來者交流。同樣《人民城寨》項目,也是在這麼一種氣氛下開展。

Press — Miniature Tigerpaw, @ 4:40 am

Nearing the fruits of our labors…

After a long “growing” period, RMB City is getting closer and closer to the harvest time…

Blog — Miniature Tigerpaw, @ 4:26 am

Post-Pecha Kucha

Saturday December 13th saw a big crowd gathered at Song Bar for Beijing’s last Pecha Kucha of 2008, which featured project manager Miniature Tigerpaw (RL: Samantha Culp) presenting about RMB City. In case you missed it, see a few snaps below, and more on Pecha Kucha’s Facebook here.

(more…)

Blog — Miniature Tigerpaw, December 15, 2008 @ 3:11 am

Cao Fei at Kunsthalle Nürnberg

KH Fei Plakat 5

December 11, 2008- February 15, 2009
RMB City is being displayed in a dedicated space as part of Cao Fei’s solo exhibition at Kunsthalle Nuremberg, Germany. The exhibition in the Kunsthalle Nuremberg is the first comprehensive solo exhibition of the Chinese artist’s work in Germany, organised in collaboration with Vitamin Creative Space, Peking/Guangzhou and Le Plateau, Paris.

(more…)

Blog,Events,News,RL Events — Miniature Tigerpaw, December 11, 2008 @ 6:41 pm

RMB in the News: DiAAAlogue

The Asia Art Archive features an interview with Cao Fei for the December issue of their DiAAAlogue Newsletter .

Text below, or read on the site here:

Interview with Cao Fei

Diaaalogue Editor Sue Acret spoke to Chinese artist Cao Fei about her Second Life project, her view on the virtual world and her generation.(中文版本)

Susan Acret: Please tell us about your avatar China Tracy and the RMB City work and how the online world of Second Life became a platform for these works.

Cao Fei: During the creation of i.Mirror and the China Tracy Pavilion (A machinima-documentary about China Tracy’s first explorations of Second Life, and the large-scale installation where it premiered at the 2007 Venice Biennale), I started to think about creating a place that belonged to China Tracy within Second Life… her own ‘city utopia’. China Tracy felt that since most cities within Second Life were Western in style, she wanted to represent some of her concepts about Chinese urban development in a space that incorporated Chinese aesthetics and identity, albeit in a surreal hybrid style.

(more…)

Blog — Miniature Tigerpaw, December 10, 2008 @ 2:40 am

Encounter the faces of RMB City

In the past few months, RMB City team has witnessed how RMB City is developed from an empty island in Second Life to a fantasia that is not merely a spot mirroring our daily real life, but also lines of flight that activate limitless imagination and signification. The official opening of RMB City is less than a month away, RMB City team would like to offer a sneak peak of the city for all of you who are interested.

Blog — Nokan Vlodovic, @ 1:23 am

RMB City at Pecha Kucha Beijing, Dec 13 2008

RMB City’s project manager Miniature Tigerpaw (RL: Samantha Culp) will be presenting about the project at Pecha Kucha Beijing. If you’re in town, come along to see some brand-new images of RMB City as it approaches its January opening…

4pm, December 13, 2008
Song Bar
B108, The Place, No. 9 Guanghua Road
Inquiries 65871311

Link on Cao Fei’s blog

More about Pecha Kucha:
(more…)

Blog — Miniature Tigerpaw, @ 1:21 am
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