Programmable Life

The final piece of the Puzzle commission is this interview on M+ Magazine with the co-curators, Kerry Doran and Kate Gu.

Doran: Language, (mis)translation, and (mis)understanding are central to Puzzle. How did conversations from your life inform the dialogue in the work?

Kuo: Many of the dialogues are (mis)quoted directly from memory, but others only ever happened in my mind. All were written from a bilingual mindset, with valuable help from Zhong Yuling, the editor at M+. For me, each dialogue is already broken, as I lost fluency in my mother tongue very early on. Like many immigrants, my family and I communicate across more than one language. This is why the displayed text is a combination of Chinese and English, no matter which language is selected.

In either case, the language is not complex. More meaningful than what the words signify is how their intentions move against or past each other, and get caught up in ever-tightening knots or completely bypass mutual understanding. The feelings in that sense are more complex and vividly recalled, and they necessarily exceed syntax. This work wants to communicate the feelings that remain after language is gone.


Read the interview.