Sinofuturism (1839-2046 AD)

Video essay, 60m, 2016

“Sinofuturism is an invisible movement. A spectre already embedded into a trillion industrial products, a billion individuals, and a million veiled narratives. It is a movement, not based on individuals, but on multiple overlapping flows. Flows of populations, of products, and of processes. Because Sinofuturism has arisen without conscious intention or authorship, it is often mistaken for contemporary China. But it is not. It is a science fiction that already exists.”

Sinofuturism (1839 -2046 AD) is a video essay exploring the parallels between portrayals of artificial intelligence and Chinese technological development. Lek combines elements of science fiction, documentary melodrama, social realism, and Chinese cosmologies in order to delve into and critique the present-day dilemmas of China and the people of its diaspora. By embracing seven key stereotypes of Chinese society (Computing, Copying, Gaming, Studying, Addiction, Labour and Gambling), it shows how China's technological development can be seen as a form of Artificial Intelligence.


Installation at Corsica Studios

January 2017


Written, directed and edited by
Lawrence Lek

Chinese subtitles by
Wenfei Wang

Initially broadcast as part of Radio Study Day at Wysing Arts Centre, 21 August 2016.

Thanks to: Joni Zhu, Steve Goodman, Gary Zhexi Zhang, Deforrest Brown, Samantha Culp, Justin Kim, Stephanie Bailey, Alvin Li,  Donna Lynas,, After Us, Film & Video Umbrella, UCCA, Wysing Arts Centre

Related Projects

Sinofuturism (1839-2046 AD) is the first part of a trilogy that includes:
Geomancer (2017)
and AIDOL (2019).

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