EALL Colloquium: Xu Bing and Dragonfly Eyes: A New Interpretation of Reality in the Digital Age

March 8, 2019 - 12:00pm

Speaker:  Tianni Wang, IDMA Candidate in East Asian Studies

Xu Bing is a world-renowned contemporary artist whose works addresses some of the fundamental challenges of contemporary society, such as connections between language and truth, and translation across cultural and linguistic boundaries. In his most recent work named Dragonfly Eyes, he directed a fictional film which tells a classic love story but is produced purely by surveillance-camera footages without any actual actors or shootings involved. This film does not follow a traditional linear narrative; instead, it shows a world seen through the dragonfly eyes of surveillance cameras, and questions people what separates these fragmentary footages and what people perceive as “reality.” This thesis discusses Xu Bing’s innovative approach of interpreting the relationship between human and society in the digital era. It studies the artist’s film Dragonfly Eyes using Jean Baudrillard’s theory of “hyperreal” he explained in his book Simulacra and Simulation (1981), which he defined as a representation so realistic that it is treated as reality. I argue that Xu Bing’s Dragonfly Eyes contextualizes the relationship between human and surveillance cameras under the context of the hyperreal digital era.

Location and Address

4130 WWPH