Whatever Works, Whatever It Takes
Goethe-Institut China, Beijing
Jul 20 - Aug 18
My procedural whiteness simulator OK. is installed at Goethe-Institut China in Beijing’s 798 Art District.
Whatever Works, Whatever It Takes concerns the “discrepancies and contingencies of our technological reality that is often presumed to be seamlessly and teleologically developed and operating“ and also includes a symposium and works by Carolyn Lazard, Ko Sin Tung, Mak Ying Tung, Monika Uchiyama, and Yibei Zhang.
From the curatorial statement by Zhihui Zhang and Junyuan Feng:
Ryan Kuo's dialogic software OK. (2018) that invites its users into loops of white-people argument blemishes the presumably sleek, transparent, and neutral software environment and clouds the logic of codes and rationality of the English language into nonsensical utterances. The idea of race here becomes a technology itself that not only reveals the opaqueness and biases of our daily software, but also muddles the order by which what can be sensible for whom, be it computers or racialized human beings.
For this exhibition, the OK. software box and cheat sheet were translated into Simplified Chinese and printed in a new edition of 50. I suggest that the pathological conditions, signs and symptoms of whiteness can travel across cultural operating systems.
Many thanks to Zhihui Zhang for providing a thoughtful translation that both preserves and extends the meaning of the work.