29 February 2018, Unstable transmission
An unnamed server in 香港 (Hong Kong) hosts 流泥 (Concrete Flux) magazine, as it answers a request from a client in nearby 深圳 (Shenzhen) the pitch of the cooling system’s hum rises.
The page requested is a photostory shot in 大裕庙 (Dayu Monastery) of a group eating lunch. In staccato bursts image files are served. The first image is 5.638 K and 250 px wide. Blurred. Low fidelity. The client’s computer confirms receipt. The server responds with a larger file, 21.145 K and 250 px wide. Dithered. Medium fidelity. The exchange continues until a rich, high resolution, high fidelity file is received. The machine to machine conversation is not idle chatter, rather it is a fail-safe system designed to negotiate the so-called ‘great firewall’. It is an aesthetic strategy.
18 October 2017, The aesthetic journalist
There is dust trapped in the lens of the camera from her previous shoot in the 塔克拉玛干沙漠 (Taklamakan Desert) West China. As she removes the lens to clean it, a small portion of the desert falls onto the swept floor.
Her presence as an aesthetic journalist is unsolicited. Those around the table are pleased by her attention but the focus of her video camera is unclear. Are her wandering shots a stylistic decision or unschooled impulse? The camera has been recording continuously for three hours, and only thirty minutes of battery life remain. She moves with a compulsion to record, organise and archive the group’s discussions. Their warmth and connectivity resonate with her own hopes of “tracing the not-yet-material potential of our moment”. Our “negative moment”. Inchoate and turbid.
Before the aesthetic journalist joins the group, she mounts the video camera on a tripod, adjusting its frame to capture the whole table. She joins the group. Bowls of rice are handed out and the companions settle into a prayer that holds them together in silence.