The Prix Ars Electronica was launched in 1987. It is the world’s most time-honored media arts competition. STARTS Prize – Grand prize of the European Commission honoring Innovation in Technology, Industry and Society stimulated by the Arts.
Guo Cheng, The Net Wanderer, 2019, Custom CNC structure, Custom server support, Custom Browser, custom circuit, dimensions variable. Transmediale 2020. Photo by Luca Girardini.
Guo Cheng, The Net Wanderer, 2019, detail
该项目由数字地球学术奖助金(Digital Earth Fellowship)委任创作。
The Net Wanderer is a research project that explores the connection between the critical network gateways in China and the infrastructure running these gateways. Guo Cheng uses computer network diagnostic tools that track specific geographic locations. In this way, the artist creates a map of firewall proxies that block Chinese users from roaming the Internet freely.
The main tasks of the Chinese firewall are to slow down cross border Internet traffic and to block some foreign websites. The project investigates how borders have been constructed to protect cyber-sovereignty, and how it can be observed. By mapping the giant wall and physically visiting some of those geolocations, Guo Cheng seeks to expose the entanglement of technology, culture and ideology behind China's Internet infrastructure.
The utopian idea of the Internet was that of a universal space for all, unbound by borders. In reality, networks are intertwined with real-world territoriality, as Guocheng shows by taking on the role of a tourist visiting the elusive sites hosting the network infrastructures of the Great Firewall of China (GFW). The installation lets users become virtual firewall tourists, entering websites of choice that if blocked by the GFW, take them to a game that allows them to submit their usernames. A custom-made wall-mounted machine then engraves the names and scores along with the IP address of a GFW node, while footage shows Guo Cheng using geolocation data to track the physical location of the firewall’s network gateway.
The work was originally commissioned within the Digital Earth fellowship program.
郭城，1988年生于北京，现工作生活于上海。先后获得上海同济大学学士学位 (2010)与英国皇家艺术学院硕士学位 (2012)。他的作品大多关注主流或新兴科技对社会与文化方面的冲击与影响，以及置身其中的个体与社会生活之间的关系。
郭城近期的个展有：“地气”，广州画廊，中国广州（2019）。群展包括：“永恒网络”，世界文化宫，德国柏林（2020）；“平行，似存在，未完成：行进的艺术工具”，当代艺术博物馆，上海(2019)；“真新镇日志”，UCCA 沙丘美术馆，秦皇岛(2019)；“机器人·间”，今日美术馆，北京(2019)；“开放代码.连接机器人”，新时线媒体艺术中心，上海(2019)；“追踪末日松茸”，泰康空间，北京(2019)；“卡拉卡拉大浴场”，广州画廊，广州(2019)；“魔都の鼓動”，当代艺术博物馆，日本熊本(2018)；“Life Time”, MU空间，荷兰埃因霍温(2017)；“时间的狂喜”，何香凝美术馆，深圳(2017)。
About the Artist
Guo Cheng (b.1988, Beijing), currently lives and works in Shanghai. He was graduated from MA Design Products at Royal College of Art (London, UK) and obtained his BE in Industrial Design at Tongji University (Shanghai, China). Currently based in Shanghai. His practice mainly focuses on exploring the interrelation between mainstream/emerging technologies and individuals under the context of culture and social life.
His recent exhibitions include: “Down to Eearth", Canton Gallery (solo show, 2019), The Eternal Network (exhibition of Transmediale 2020), HKW, Berlin, Germany (2020), “The Process of Art: TOOLS AT WORK”, Power Station of Art, Shanghai, China (2019), “Notes from Pallet Town”, UCCA Dune, Qinhuangdao, China (2019); “Deja vu”, Today Art Museum, Beijing, China (2019); “Open Codes. Connected Bots”, Chronus Art Center, Shanghai, China (2019); “Free Panorama”, Pingshan Culture Center, Shenzhen, China (2019); “Tracing the Mushroom at the End of the World”, Taikang Space, Beijing, China (2019); “Bath of Caracalla”, Canton Gallery, Guangzhou, China (2019); “Shanghai Beat”, Contemporary Art Museum, Kumamoto, Japan (2018); “Machines Are Not Alone: A Mechanic Trilogy”, Chronus Art Center, Shanghai (2018); “Life Time”, Mu Art Space, Eindhoven (2017); “The Ecstasy of Time”, He Xiangning Art Museum, Shenzhen (2017) etc.
Images courtesy the artist and Magician Space
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