Spotlight: Artists Imagine Variable Futures on the Blockchain in the Hyundai Blue Prize Art+Tech Exhibition

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What You Need to Know: Launched in 2017, the Hyundai Blue Prize by Hyundai Motor Company and Hyundai Motorstudio Beijing is an annual award that promotes and fosters curators and their visions. The award is comprised of two categories, the Hyundai Blue Prize Design in Busan, which focuses on curators who work in design, and the Hyundai Blue Prize Art+Tech in Beijing, which awards emerging Chinese art curators. Xin Bi was received the Hyundai Blue Prize Art+Tech in the 2022 edition, whose theme, “Disruptive Futures,” sought to examine technologies that jolt the status quo and imagine possible horizons. The exhibition Bi has curated, “Time After Time: The Polychronicity in Blockchain,” is currently on view at Hyundai Motorstudio Beijing, and, according to the space’s Art Director, DooEun Choi, “prompts us to engage in a dialogue regarding various aspects of time and forms of technology in order to ensure a more equitable, healthy, and resilient future.” The exhibition features a diverse array of artists and projects that engage with three parallel networks of time: “Chimera Time,” involving natural probabilities in blockchains; “Energy Time,” focusing on technological interdependencies and balance; and “Spime,” a neologism referring to intersections in the physical and digital worlds.

About the Curator: Based in Shanghai, curator, researcher, and translator Xin Bi (Milia) has a focus on decentralized technologies as well as the social aspect of culture and subculture in our contemporary political and economic milieu. She received her bachelor’s degree in the history of art from the Central Academy of Fine Arts, China, and her master’s degree in curating from the Chelsea College of Art and Design at the University of the Arts, London. The material and temporal elements of contemporary technology and its repercussions are her current focus. Beyond this, she has also explored the aesthetics and social implications of ever-evolving decentralized tech and social digital spaces. She is the executive director of Chronus Art Center, a nonprofit organization dedicated to media-based art.

Why We Like It: The exhibition features a diverse array of artists and projects that are displayed in thought-provoking vignettes. Included in the show is a collaboration between Simon Denny with Guile Twardowski, (2022), a multimedia work that references the 2011 dotcom crash, and imagines how companies that then failed could be reimagined within the context of Web 3.0. Elsewhere, (2021), created by artist duo eeefff (made up of Nikolay Spesivtsev and Dzina Zhuk), is an initiative that promotes interpersonal connection and the capturing of a collective narrative. In Ruini Shi’s , a fictitious online platform seeks to provide an autonomous area within Web 3.0 for lovers and offers smart contract services for marriages. In each of these intriguing and often playful projects, the human element of new technologies and imagined futures is front and center.

See inside the exhibition below.

Installation view of "Time After Time: The Polychronicity in Blockchain" (2022/2023). Courtesy of Hyundai Motorstudio Beijing.

Installation view of “Time After Time: The Polychronicity in Blockchain” (2022–23). Courtesy of Hyundai Motorstudio Beijing.

Installation view of "Time After Time: The Polychronicity in Blockchain" (2022/2023). Courtesy of Hyundai Motorstudio Beijing.

Installation view of “Time After Time: The Polychronicity in Blockchain” (2022–23). Courtesy of Hyundai Motorstudio Beijing.

Installation view, Simon Denny in collaboration with Guile Twardowski and Cosmographia, Dotcom Séance (2022). Courtesy of Hyundai Motorstudio Beijing.

Installation view, Simon Denny in collaboration with Guile Twardowski and Cosmographia, (2022). Courtesy of Hyundai Motorstudio Beijing.

SHI Ruini, LoveCounter (2022). Courtesy of Hyundai Motorstudio Beijing.

Ruini Shi, (2022). Courtesy of Hyundai Motorstudio Beijing.

Helen Knowles, Trickle Down - A New Vertical Sovereignty (2020). Courtesy of Hyundai Motorstudio Beijing.

Helen Knowles, (2020). Courtesy of Hyundai Motorstudio Beijing.

Time After Time: The Polychronicity in Blockchain” is on view at Hyundai Motorstudio Beijing through March 31, 2023.

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