You are the Dream of my Realization
Huang Xiaopeng’s work approaches contemporary conditions of transitional flows of capital and culture through myriad contexts including, for example, a global matrix taken to absurd proportions. In Huang’s ‘You are the dream of my realization’ (2009), a billboard sized banner announces the results of a kind of ventriloquist telephone game. The artist compresses the trope of globalization through Internet translation programs from Chinese to English, and from English to Chinese, only to continue a recycling process that culminates with the phrase: “thanks to the expansion of the empire, economic and culture exchanges become possible to the maximum extent, and previously isolated civilizations become linked.” One can see a kind of ironic send-up of the information glut that has permeated into, and comes out of the Internet.
Like other repositories of information—including such disparate sources as the proverbial dictionary and the telephone book—the Internet maintains its pretense as an arbiter of authority because it is a nascent technology. By the same token, its democratic ethos—in which anyone can upload information—allows panoply of misinformation to clutter it.
Recycling the word globalization through endless permutations—via what is presumed to be neutral translation system—something like a ghost in the machine is revealed. But this no ordinary phantom, as its ostensible visibility gives weight to an ideological materiality. The quotation, which calls up a market driven utopia of world domination that subsumes history, including civilizations of the past and conflating them with the present, is a cross between the capitalist avatar Adam Smith gone amok, and the mega-computer HAL from Stanley Kubrick’s ’2001: A Space Odyssey’, (1968).