Like in many other Asian countries, nascent urban centers in China are increasingly permeated by the latest communication and distribution infrastructures, swiftly becoming global high-tech nodes in ways never seen before. At the heart of this transformation lie excitement, anxiety, aspiration, perplexity, hope and desire. Artists both within China and from around the world are exploring this new mediated public domain extensively. By developing new artistic strategies and means of expression, they exploit the specific qualities and potentials of these media. They engage, reflect, and critique the new technological urban settings and raise questions about the contemporary condition engendered by media technologies.
After the resounding success of the First Beijing International New Media Arts Exhibition and Symposium in May 2004, the second edition - titled In the Line of Flight - seeks to explore the multiple emotions and complex feelings toward the phenomenon of this historic challenge in China and to examine the precedents of its global neighbors, by investigating media technologies in the wake of their disruptive and deterritorializing potential.
The international exhibition comprises works selected by a group of distinguished curators, each giving his or her own insightful approach to the broad thematic structure, rendering a diversity of interpretations and raising issues imminent and critical to the fluctuating social, cultural and economic circumstances of urban life across the world. In the Line of Flight presents international works of telematic art, virtual reality, net art, robotics, interactive cinema, software art, nano art, and other new forms facilitated through media technologies.
Curators for this exhibition are Alex Adriaansens (V2_), Sara Diamond (The Banff Centre, Canada), Antoanetta Ivanova (NOVAMEDIA, Australia), Yukiko Shikata (NTT InterCommunication Center, Japan), Peter Weibel (ZKM, Germany) and Zhang Ga (New York Institute of Technology).
Alex Adriaansens chose to present the art projects Run Motherfucker Run by Marnix de Nijs, Body Movies by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Can You See Me Now? by the art collective Blast Theory, Stalkshow by Karen Lancel and Hermen Maat, and Hole in the Earth by Maki Ueda / CELL Initiators of Incidents. Annet Dekker of the Netherlands Media Art Institute / Montevideo (Amsterdam) curated the exhibition Wonderwall, showing works from the collection of the Netherlands Media Art Institute.
In the Line of Flight is organized under the auspices of Millennium Dialogue, and hosted by Tsinghua University, China's leading educational and research university, in close collaboration with V2_, Institute for the Unstable Media and ZKM | Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie. For a substantial part, the project is supported by the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, and the Mondriaan Foundation, the Chinese Ministries of Culture, Science, Information Technologies, and Education, and many others.