"The Cat That Eats Diodes"
To Liu Dao, virtual reality is no oxymoron. In fact, the electronic art collective delights in blurry, buzzing gaps between what appears to be real, what we hope is real, and what is – in the most aloof, technical sense – truly real. Opening in both Shanghai and Hong Kong, The Cat that Eats Diodes is Liu Dao's 50th show in their m50 Shanghai space and their 2nd at the brand-new baby, island6 Hong Kong. The multimedia show explores issues of reality, illusion, representation and identity through interactive artworks and installations.
The Cat that Eats Diodes celebrates the art collective's six-year love affair with all that resonate with electricity and life. From animated goldfish to lasercut trees, the story of our world is retold in Technicolour glory through LED, video, photography and contemporary sculpture. Re-appropriating iconic scenes from Shanghai and Hong Kong, Liu Dao brings together the essence of two metropolises that are impelled by technology, but inspired by life.
Toying with reality is a tantalizing game for many of us. It is fodder for the intellectual, gold mines for the commercial-minded and, increasing, a way of life for the rest of us. Quantum physics has weighed in with cats that may or may not exist; enthusiastic students toss about clunkers like “phenomenological reality” and pretend to discuss the Matrix Hypothesis. Virtual worlds such as Second Life boast user accounts in the multi-millions, as avatars become astoundingly customisable. Reality shows tease and lie to billions of mesmerized viewers. What then in our world is real, and what is illusion?
The eager eyes of the digital – but oh so appealing – kitty implore you not to jump to immediate conclusions. Lest we get unthinkingly nostalgic over the good old times, Liu Dao argues that the “good old times” were as much a construction of one's memory and imagination as electronic guppies are. Time after time, humans have been representing themselves according to their perceived truths and preferences. Today, technology is merely the messenger – don't shoot it. Suspend your preconceived notions about what should or should not be, and what you will find is no less lovely, graceful, compelling, and utterly real.