Can't Help Myself


To consider an increasingly mechanized and automated global reality through the development of technologies and networks. Sun Yuan & Peng Yu’s new work, Can’t Help Myself(2016), engages AI robotics and a visual sensor control system. In the exhibition space, we find a large robotic arm with a shovel atop a base. The machine rotates and shovels back an unidentifiable viscous deep red liquid that spreads out from underneath and around the base. Over time, the repetitive shoveling leaves marks and residue that resemble bloodstains, evoking the idea of surveillance and warfare surrounding border control and land disputes. Akin to real life, the borders that emerge and disappear. Beyond the blood and lives sacrificed in border conflicts and wars, these security mechanisms affect the everyday, from surveillance cameras in urban areas to smartphones that allow us to document and share moments of our lives while monitoring and controlling our behavior. These multiple layers of surveillance point to the relationship between humans and machines; as we create machines and design programs to control them, we inadvertently become subjects of their monitoring.

(From the Guggenheim Museum Publication:Tales of Our Time, 123-124)






(摘自古根海姆美术馆出版物 《故事新编》, 123 - 124)