The work draws inspiration from two sources: “robota,” the Czech origin of the word “robot” and Sisyphus, who is condemned to push a boulder up a hill for eternity in Greek mythology. “Robota” translates to forced labor, just like Sisyphus who pushes the boulder up only for it to roll back down again. The work is an absurd comic about the repetitive daily routines that we perform, but it also asks serious questions about contemporary servitude in a capitalist society. With technological advancements and a widening wealth inequality, are we moving toward a better future?
Referencing the iconic logo on the Amazon shipping package, an upward curved arrow resembling a smile, the work comments on our love-hate relationship with online shopping. The coupling of credit card and internet commerce has altered the way we buy, sell, collect, and distribute products and labor globally. One side of the work is marked by a smile, representing the delight of owning something and anticipating its arrival; the opposite side is marked by a frown, representing the pain of diminishing financial worth. The work is a comic expression of our reliance and addiction in consumer culture.
“90x200” is an installation that dramatizes the emotions of frustration, anxiety, and delirium through mechanical movements. It stages the internal state of push-and-pull with a ghostly body accompanied by repetitive machine noises, signaling a symbolic sickness of contemporary living by automation. The title “90x200” not only describes the dimensions of a single bed, but also evokes the idea of pixelation. The work plays out as a crude mechanical resolution, pointing to a possible future in which the human body disappears while machinery performs the lingering visceral and psychological residues.
Two rectangular mini fridges glow in the dark, each with a small robot inside acting on a piece of raw meat. The robots seem to be attempting to communicate by pushing the meat back together. The work provokes a mixed sense of sympathy, disgust, affection, absurdity, powerlessness, humor, and eeriness. Inspired by our primal need to connect with one another, “Meet Apart” presents animalistic desires against modular machine logic. The work is a comic metaphor to our intimate tendencies as lovers, brothers, neighbors, friends, and lonely strangers.
In the installation, one cart spills sand while the other spills chocolate wrapped in gold foil paper. Sand is noted as an abundant and low cost material/waste; chocolate is associated with the notions of luxury, passion, and colonial history. The chocolate balls symbolize the peak of capitalism; the sand represents the base of a capitalistic pyramid. The forced merger of materials demonstrates a conflict of interest; gold and dirt; have and have not; rich and poor. The title “Sweet Nothing” is a misspelling of the idiom “sweet nothings,” which connotes tender words exchanged by lovers. The work can be read as a tragic split, where one party is full of passion while the other is emotionally detached.