Shu Lea Cheang is an artist, filmmaker, networker working with various mediums and film formats, including installation, performance, net art, public art, video installation, feature-length film and mobile web serial.
As a net art pioneer, her BRANDON (1998-1999) was the first web art commissioned and collected by the Guggenheim Museum New York.
She drafts sci-fi narratives in her film scenario and artwork imagination, crafting her own [science] fiction genre of new queer cinema. From homesteading cyberspace in the 90s to her present retreat in the post net-crash BioNet zone, Cheang takes on viral love, bio hack in her current cycle of works.
12/05 鄭淑麗｜蒜與獄. 食色性也.
3x3x6 (2019), an immersive mixed media installation, took over the 16 century prison Palazzo delle Prigioini in Venice to reflect upon the transformation of surveillance techniques since Bentham’s eighteenth century panopticon to include contemporary digital panopticon with facial recognition system. The work constructs multi-thread trans-punk-fiction scenarios in its investigation of 10 criminal cases in which the prisoners across time and space are incarcerated for sexual provocation and gender affirmation.
In a fictional "after the crash" scenario, organic garlic has been ordained as new social currency, serving as "credito" for a global shared network. Garlic=RichAir (2002-2003) was revived by rhizome.org as part of its Net Art Anthology and exhibited at The Art Happens Here (2018-2019) at the New Museum in New York City. In summer 2019, with a new edition of garlic trust game and a mini-truck filled with fresh harvested garlic, a public trading performance took place at Rockaway beach in New York.
In recounting these two recent works staged outside gallery spaces, Cheang hopes to engage the public in dialogues on the utopia of alternative economy and tactical hack on the society of control.