Artist’s Statement (written for ICC Biennale ’97 Catalogue)
Sphinx, Silom Soi, Bangkok
buy one get one
a cyberhomesteader drifting
accessing with a borrowed password
passing with a torn ID card
buy one get one
By One Get One is a two month homesteading project
housing at http://www.ntticc.or.jp/HoME
Two digital suitcases modeled after a Japanese style bento box and equipped with a powerbook, cameras, mikes, and phonelines plus a hinomaru bento (lunchbox with rice and ume [plum]) are netcast ready for HoME delivery.
During the two month period of the ICC Biennale ’97 exhibition, we claim our HoME in the telecommunication’s mainframe.
With Lawrence CHUA, we engineer a route that recalls seeds of discontent
and desire carried on trade winds between continents.
uploading and “furnishing” our HoME with wallpapers of the home(page)less, smuggling memory chips of the ever-developing as we cross borderlines of hyperlink (il)logics. Return to the idea of the body as a system with complex routes/roots in the world around it. So, what does travel mean in a world that is part of your own body, or with a suitcase that is
On the road, the digi-suitcase is transmission central, our last hold to a connection, our attachment to HoME/System Mainframe. The ume bento recalls a colonial past. In the gallery, the bento suitcase serves as the interface of travelers and marketplace locals. Ume, nipple, panic button. Whe in doubt, PRESS. Memory chips scramble. Reprogrammable auto-agents shuttle down the assembly line.
Visitors at the gallery reloading the site are part of
the homesteading scheme.
Buy One Get One
The internet is the agenda.
Super hyper the rush to get wired.
The African Safari has a mission to wire the continent.
A continent awaits its phoneline installation.
But, but, who’s gonna pay for the phonebill?
Joining global assembly line of automated packaging,
HoME is a java programmed site that allows auto-uploading of ever processing sales pitches from the ever-developing continents.
Bu One Get One; the over and forever developing clone themselves and claim HoME in net circuitry. Recalling the boys selling garlands and pineapples in the midst of Bangkok’s perpetual gridlock, our wired bodies work across-circuited systems, shaking ass to make a buck.
On the Artist’s Works
Shu Lea CHEANG was born in Taiwan and immigrated to New York approximately twenty years ago. In 1980, after working in the film industry, she submitted a film to the alternative cable TV network “Pager Tiger TV” and entered the New York art scene.
As can be seen in her approach to TV as media, CHEANG’s work has, from the start, focused on delivering messages about contemporary media. Specifically, many of her works turn a sharp and critical eye toward social issues involving the role of the media in racial and gender discrimiation. Her work bears an intensity that prevents it from slipping into snobbery or abstraction, as is sometimes the case with socially oriented art, for she makes a concerted effort to participate in the local communities where such issues arise. Furthermore, she actively collaborates with people from many different fields during the process of her artistic production, and her works always transmit asense of society and the times.
CHEANG has received attention primarily for her short films and videos, a representative work being her 1994 film “Fresh Kill,” which critiques the mass media’s ethnocentric policies from the standpoint of underground culture. Her installation works include; “Color Schemes” (1990), a laundry machine outfitted with a video monitor; “Those Fluttering objects of Desire” (1993), a public telephone with recorded messages of 25 women artists, exhibited at the Whitney Biennial; “Bowling Alley”(1995); and “Elephant Cage/Butterfly Locker” (1996), produced during her extended stay in Okinawa and Tokyo.
In recent years, following her 1995 “Bowling Alley,” a work that includes a discussion held on theInternet and a homepage, CHEANG has shifted the focus of her activities to projects involving the Internet. In this sense, her work in ICC’s collection, “Buy One Get One,” is of particular interest because as an installation and Internet project it reveals both facets of her artistic style. At present she is working on another Internet piece, “Brandon Project,” sponsored by the Guggenheim Museum, SoHo, among others.
For CHEANG, who began her career working in film and TV, the Web provides a more suitable site for her work than the world of fine art or installation art, which is restricted by time and space. The Web, an invisible, virtual, and non-physical medium serves to strengthen her message and is undoubtedly the appropriate community and site for her current endeavors.
Writer/router: Lawrence CHUA
Java programming: NAKANISHI Yasuto
Hardware interface: OENOKI Jun
Handmade bento digicase: SUZUKI Takahiko