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Rosa Barba, Stage Archive, 2011, 35-mm film, Perspex, guiding rollers, neon lamps, engine, 3' 3“ × 10' 6”. From “Thingworld.”

“Thingworld”

National Art Museum of China 中国美术馆

Rosa Barba, Stage Archive, 2011, 35-mm film, Perspex, guiding rollers, neon lamps, engine, 3' 3“ × 10' 6”. From “Thingworld.”

The “new” in new media––in some accounts––derives from the rupture created by an object’s materiality and its effect on human senses. “Thingworld: International Triennial of New Media Art,” however, focused on objects themselves. And yet curator Zhang Ga kept the premise of this third edition of the New Media Triennial closely tied to theory. Spread over eleven rooms, the ambitious exhibition was divided into three parts: “Monologue: Ding an Sich,” “Dialogue: Ding to Thing,” and “Ensemble: Parliament of Things,” referring to Kant’s unperceivable object and Bruno Latour’s actants that come into indirect contact through a system of translation. The influence of speculative realism—the work of anti-correlationist thinkers attempting to untie the knot between epistemology and ontology—was demonstrated by the presence of its core figure, Graham Harman, who spoke at the

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