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The redundancy of information enriches the photographic universe but alienates the material world more and more from people. The reality of people, things and objects fades away. The image no longer reflects the object but other images, as the world becomes an endless spiral of countless image symbols, a vast "image spectacle". The human being gradually becomes a nameless shadow floating on the screen, an image without a physical presence. According to Flusser, “the photographic universe and all apparatus-based universes robotise the human being and society.” It is difficult to imagine a society where thoughts, feelings, actions, and desires are robotised. Where does human freedom go when people gradually become a trigger to the device, just as photographers now become an extension of the camera shutter? Where does the human goes when images (symbols) become more and more redundant and replace reality? Since people gradually lose their freedom, is there a way for the apparatus itself to lose its freedom as well?

With these questions, Lei misconnects an oscilloscope to a CCTV camera and allows the oscilloscope to observe its own display in its diagram through the latter. This behaviour of the scope is like a disease, BDD (Body Dysmorphic Disorder: a mental health condition where a person spends a lot of time worrying about flaws in their appearance). The oscilloscope's own programming forms a loop in which it programs itself and reacts to its own image. It falls into an eternal void where it is unable to create any new images. It has been trapped by itself and comes close to death forever. Venus is a symbol of mythical imagery while her use as a camera stand symbolises the transgression from mythological to technical imagery. Venus holds up the camera in complicity with the oscilloscope, and the viewer, as a third party, sees an absurd game - the device itself losing its freedom and then being watched and influenced, even manipulated, by its own images. The sense of conflict between life and death, between man and machinery, and between the mythical imagery and the technical imagery is revealed in this installation. The installation, as a game, offers the possibility of a passage to freedom.




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2023
Oscilloscope, wired CCTV camera, Venus sculpture, BNC cables, foam
40x50x28cm



Installation view