‘RMB City Opera’
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City
Feb 4-Jun 5, 2011
Curator Leesa Fanning interviews China Tracy in RMB City:
First wanderings of the meditating monk amongst the remains of a submerged RMB City
First reactions of the intrepid players at the Museum of Moving Image:
‘Surf in RMB City’ is an interactive skimboard game developed by RMB City.
Interactive Skimboard Game
RMB City Hall, SL Time: Thursday January 13, 2011, 4pm
An intrepid meditating monk surfs amongst the remains of a once famous town.
He glides over the relics of a flooded RMB City, facing obstacles of all sorts.
In a post-disaster landscape, seemingly made from colour handwritings, this surfing journey is a thoroughly planned, fully conscious full-length drama with all the dramatic conflict pre-planned and built in, or an interactive movie where each player picks her own paths.
If what we are gliding over is not a wave but the remnants of this city, a building, or an event, or even if what we are gliding over is civilization itself, or ideology, then this surfing journey really is a slightly different, game version of RMB City itself.
The monk-avatar, his heart at ease, his board light, constantly overcomes the obstacles but never reaches anything resembling a final destination.
Similar to certain phenomena in life, throughout constant elevation of the soul through transmigration, RMB City Surfing Game guides the player through a journey of self-cultivation.
To play the game in Real Life, please visit Cao Fei’s installation in the exhibit “Real Virtuality” at the Museum of the Moving Image, New York, opening January 15th, 2011. More information can be found here:
Full speech of the 5th RMB City Mayor, Supernova Sibilant:
December 13, 2010, Second Life
Welcome to RMB City Playground. We gather to honor cycles.
First, we honor the cycle of a new mayoral term for RMB City. I believe our destiny will stretch our imaginations. In ancient China, imagination meant to take a journey in your mind – a play, a dream or the afterlife offered the cultural spaces for such journeys. Today, we honor RMB City as that site for our imagination to roam in its most delirious capacity.
Second, we honor the cycle of life and death. As mayor, I bring you a children’s playground and a place for the dying. Sites for eternal reivention. Sites for imagination.
Of course, you think there is no childhood and no death in Second Life. Is that so?
Finally, we honor the cycle of RMB City. This invention was originally conceived as a two-year experimental platform, a creative incubator of sorts. Though the RMB City artworks will of course live on, Cao Fei has always intended to close the city in Second Life in late spring/early summer 2011.
Now, I will show you a new way to tour RMB City. Come watch as I choose my destiny with the Tarot.
Cao Fei, the creative mind behind SL fantasy world RMB City, and one of the nominee for the HUGO BOSS PRIZE 2010, was commissioned to create the HUGO BOSS ArtPass 2011. Allowing free admission to many important museums and institutions all around the world, the card becomes an alternative peephole to discover RMB City world. A fantastic overview of the island encloses a hidden gem: the tiny little replica of a prismatic RMB City world: familiar and yet unpredictable, with its iconic recognizable landscape continuously shifting its form.
A bunch of curious citizens met today in People’s Playground to welcome RMB city 5th Mayor Supernova Sibilant. Clad in her shining armor, this new dauntless heroine of the new millennium set the city off on its final journey.
As a tribute to the upcoming metamorphosis of the city, Supernova inspired a playground and a place for the dying as both ‘sites of eternal reinvention’.
“We gather to honor cycles, …I believe our destiny will stretch our imaginations. In ancient China, imagination meant to take a journey in your mind – a play, a dream or the afterlife offered the cultural spaces for such journeys. Today, we honor RMB City as that site for our imagination to roam in its most delirious capacity”.
The audience, intrigued by her insightful words, reacted in contrasting ways: some burst into ovations of excitement ♪♪♫♫♫APPPPLLLAAAUUSSSEEEE♪♪♪♫♫♫, some felt provoked by her words and left the stage, some chose to meditate in silence, floating in midair.
We then all moved to a magic tarot carpet, picked a card and scattered around the island in search of our destiny: whether teleported to the city’s graveyard or to the enigmatic half-moon dangling from the sky, all of us had to face our own fate and decipher the code of our SL existence.
We now invite you all to travel the island in search of your destiny and share your stories with us. A letter box will also be placed in RMB City to satisfy your insatiable curiosity and leave messages to the new mayor Supernova.
Stay tuned for more information and welcome our new captain Supernova Sibilant!
“The Life & Death of RMB City: The 5th Mayor project”
Through this, endless, perpetual cycle we are thrown into a world, and eventually washed away by its eternal wave. Like water, we splash on the rocks in constantly shifting forms, and like foam we finally dissolve into air.
How many worlds are we expected to see? How many forms to assume? On the rise and fall of a lullaby we choose a tarot card to know our destiny in RMB City. We set out to conquer the space, then in a blink of an eye, the wave rolls back and we are bound to become something different, over and over again.
On the occasion of its 5th Mayor Inauguration, RMB City enters a new phase and begins to embark on its last journey. Guided by its new mayor, Alexandra Munroe (Supernova Sibilant), and in search of its final destiny, RMB City invites you to consult the tarot and face your own fate.
Tracing back the most eminent moments and figures of the city’s journey, we will play our last game and face our final destiny, waiting for a new world to stand out on the horizon.
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The 5th Mayor Ceremony in RMB City:
Tuesday December 14, 2010, 11am (Beijing Time)
Monday December 13, 2010, 7pm (SL time)
People’s Playground (RMB City 4 42, 217, 95)
RMB City Project is developed by Cao Fei (SL: China Tracy) and Vitamin Creative Space
Facilitator: Uli Sigg (SL: UliSigg Cisse)
Public Presenter: Serpentine Gallery (London)
Reel Asian International Film Festival
A Space Gallery, Toronto
Nov 5-Dec 11, 2010
For more info see:
Whether represented by a veiled and blind Goddess, a four-leaf clover or a Wheel of Fortune, LUCK has obsessed and influenced people’s life since very remote times. Adapting Pascal’s wager on the existence of God to this more profane matter, you’d better believe in luck, and most of all never ever underrate bad luck, ‘cause that’s when your nice and sweet goddess turns into a monstrous gorgon, your precious clover turns out to be a mere Irish shamrock (no offence intended to St.Patrick!) and Fortune ‘overwhelms you with grief beyond bearing’ (Boethius, Consolation of Philosophy)!!!
What is Luck? How would you represent it? And most of all, do you consider yourself a ‘lucky artist’? these are the main questions asked to more than a hundred artists in a new publication by Fondazione Fotografia di Modena, Italy, on the occasion of the tenth edition of the city Philosophy Festival.
Artists responded in many different ways:
some even refused to send their contribution ‘to avoid bad luck’
This is Cao Fei’s answer:
“ARE YOU A LUCKY ARTIST?”
Skira Publishing House, 2010
Cao Fei: RMB City
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. San Francisco, CA
Oct 14, 2010 – Jan 9, 2011
” Child: “Mother, is life here lonely?”
Mother: “Do you know what lonely means?”
Child: “Lonely is when I am here but mother is not online.”
Child: “Mother, am I unique?”
Mother: “Each real being is one of a kind; they are each unique and cannot be substituted. But here, we can clone ourselves or allow others to manage our lives. Sometimes, we encounter the threat of hackers or even destruction. We are not in complete control of our own lives.”
Child: “Mother, mother, which one am I?” (“Live in RMB City”, 2009)
Preview Date: 13th Oct, 2010
Public Date: 11am-7pm, 14th Oct to 17th Oct, 2010
Location: Stand H5, Frieze Art Fair
Regent’s Park, London
29th Bienal de São Paulo
September 25 – December 12, 2010