Akeroyd Collection


Shuang Li, ÆTHER (Poor Objects), 2021

In ÆTHER (Poor Objects), Shuang Li combines images of a solar eclipse with those made by an extreme fisheye lens and illuminated by ring lights, commonly used by social media influencers and vloggers. The effect renders all footage in circular, ocular terms and unifies the material aesthetically and conceptually. This artistic fusion of natural and artificial rings of light serves to highlight the blurred boundaries between virtual experiences and physical existence, drawing attention to the interplay between the two realms as is a common endeavour within the artist's wider practice. The title Æther alludes to the ancient concept of the fifth element, believed to occupy the space beyond the terrestrial realm, connecting all of us. By connecting the imagery of the ring light, a symbol of online culture and remote work, with that of the solar eclipse, Æther explores personal subjectivity within the context of an increasingly immersive digital landscape. Li's work contemplates the reversed relationship between the body and its representation on screens, focusing on the concept of leakage and the imperfect transmission of virtual objects into physical life and vice versa. The script, written by the artist, evokes notions of evolution, gestation, and the spatiotemporal disconnection inherent in our social and technological conditions. Through the imagery of abandoned infrastructure, the artwork underscores the potential loss of genuine physical encounters as we become increasingly reliant on virtual realms. Delivered through the personas of a cam model and a mukbang vlogger, Æther’s presentation is at odds with classical Chinese philosophy on the body and being that the narrative draws on. This juxtaposition prompts a reconsideration of our own physicality within currently mediated circumstances. The work examines our own embodiment and its potential loss caused by the impact of technology on lived experiences.

Duration18 minutes 27 seconds
Editionof 2 + 1 AP