Spain / France / Taiwan 2009
Demo Version of UKI on 2 channel video / screens @ FACT. Access it here: www.u-k-i.co
We live the future. The robots are us. The avatars become us.
Presented in FACT / Liverpool as an online project on two screens, UKI, a sequel to Cheang’s cyberpunk sci-fi movie I.K.U (2000, premiere Sundance Film Festival), is structured both a viral performance – live code live spam and a viral game in two levels – infect the city and enter the bionet.
I.K.U. takes off where BLADE RUNNER ends. I.K.U. tells the story of GENOM Corp, a net-porn enterprise who dispatches I.K.U. coders (replicants) to collect orgasm data. Made into mobilephone chip, GENOM introduces orgasm on the go and makes a huge profit. In post-netcrash UKI, the data deprived I.K.U. coders are dumped on the Etrashscape where coders, twitters, networkers crush and crashed. Exchanging sex for code, code sexing code, UKI as virus emerge admist noise blast while GENOM retreats to BioNet.
GENOM CORP. takes human body hostage to initiate BioNet, a network made up of microcomputing red blood cells (erythrocytes) engaging in re-programming human orgasm. Code named “ORGANISMO”. GENOM is to re-invent human orgasm into “self-sustained pleasure”, a profitable sex scheme conspired without any precaution for damaging the biosphere. UKI the virus, replicated, propagated and mobilized, enter the occupied human body – to infiltrate BioNet, to sabotage the ORGANISMO production and finally to reclaim lost orgasm data.
See an interview of Shu Lea Cheang by Matthew Fuller, “Compost your Orgasm Trash” on MUTE MAGAZINE.
Shu Lea Cheang & Co.
As a new media artist, Cheang has engaged in large scale networked installation and performance since mid-90s. She was the first net artist commissioned by Guggenheim New York for BRANDON (1998-1999), a one year web narrative project. She often drafts sci-fi narratives, traversing between hard and soft, sex and polities, fiction and reality, fantasia and earth-bound. Her work explores diverse themes and formats: Locker Baby Project [on clone & human memory/emotion] (2001-2012, NTT[ICC], Palais de Tokyo, ELMCIP), Agliomania [on speculative economy] (2007 -2011, PAN, Napoli, Wealth of Nations, Novi Sad), MobiOpera [on collective mobile cinema] (2007, Sundance New Frontier), Moving Forest [12 hour distributed performance] (Transmediale.08, planning for London2012). She has initiated and co-founded media collectives – Kingdom of Piracy (since2001), TAKE2030 (since2003), Mumbai Streaming Attack (since2004), AKA the castle (2008), LaptopsRus (since2009). And cycleX (2012 – ).
UKI viral patch: lluis gomez i bigorda
UKI viral sequencer: Bex Noname
UKI viral game collaboration: Massimo Avvisati (software/game development)
Martin Hug (biosensor design)
Jara Rocha (cultural agent)
UKI was developed with residencies and collaboration at HangarBCN (Barcelona, Spain) Medialab-Prado (Madrid, Spain) Plataforma Cero, LABoral Centro de Arte y Creación Industrial (Gijon, Spain).