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Posted inArt

China’s Instant Messenger and Why New Media Types Need It

It’s a well-known truism that the internet in China is lousy. But business has to be done and file transfers have to be made. New media artists in particular, who can work with large complex files, would be at a loss if they relied on Western sites like YouSendIt (blocked), DropBox (blocked) and even Skype (routed through servers outside China). Any file over 50 MB can literally take hours to download from the web, if not longer. What’s a file-heavy new media artist or denizen to do? Enter Tencent QQ, China’s top instant messaging system.

Posted inArt

Where Art, Design & Tech Naturally Mingle, Xindanwei in Shanghai

It’s just a typical day at Xindanwei (新单位), a coworking space with a name that means “New Work Unit” in Chinese. Downstairs, Patrick Jost of is giving a talk … On the second floor, the EF Life Club are leading a workshop on self actualization through art, … On the roof is a meeting of marketing gurus enjoying the summer air. And in between can be found mini-meetings in corners, in hallways, on the stairs. Founded by Liu Yan, Aaajiao (aka Xu Wenkai) and Chen Xu in 2009 as a coworking space, Xindanwei has quickly become the center of Shanghai’s burgeoning technology and art community.

Posted inArt

Cory Arcangel’s (Al)ready-mades

Remember Oakley M-Frame sunglasses? They’re supposed to look like the future, with gradient lenses in a variety of neon colors and knotted frames that bear a resemblance to tensed muscle and ligaments. What they actually look like is a future imagined from the 1980s, in which some mixture of cyberpunk fashion, steroidal athlete aesthetic and Gatorade-style visual punch is totally au courant. New media prankster Cory Arcangel has turned these glasses into monuments, casting them in bronze and immortalizing them in a series of readymades called “Sports Products” (2011). Are you ready for 80s nostalgia? You better be, because it’s ready for you.