Dongpu Ling

Postview (2021) is an installation combining machine generated video and a series of hair dye painted faux wools. A machine learning algorism, named StyleGan, it uses neural network to learn and find similarity from a given dataset. In this case: a dataset of over 500 images of machines in landscapes is used for training. It generates a morphing, dreaming like imagery, giving a dystopia view into the age of the high technology future. 

The way of machine deep learning is possibly evidence that the world is a simulation since we can create something already so intelligent. The base code of the algorism is like our DNA. Based on Nick Bostrom’s simulation argument, it is very likely that we are already living in the simulation. 

Last but not least, the title is inspired by the concept of posthuman: “a time in ‘which humans are no longer the most important things in the universe’, where ‘all technological progress of human society is geared towards the transformation of the human species as we know it’, and where ‘complex machines are emerging form of life.’ (Pepperell, 2003:177).” (Theory Culture & Society, 2006: 432). 

Dongpu Ling is working at the intersection of interactive installation and performance art. Specifically, her work explores the space among digital and physical entities by creating a multidisciplinary relationship with machine intelligence. Her fascination with the unseen—including things like body senses, data transformations, and theoretical physics, etc.—is various. Her work spans multiple media formats including interactive installation, painting, sculpture, video, and performance art. In her mind and world, time does not exist without a soul or observer, and art does not exist without viewers.