Los Angeles

Xin Liu, Living Distance—two-channel video, 2019, two-channel HD video, color, sound, 10 minutes 49 seconds.

Xin Liu, Living Distance—two-channel video, 2019, two-channel HD video, color, sound, 10 minutes 49 seconds.

Xin Liu

Make Room

In 1957, the Soviets loaded a dog named Laika onto the Sputnik 2 spacecraft. Laika was a stray, probably part Samoyed and part terrier. She had a little spotted face with intelligent eyes and a white stripe streaking down to her soft, dark nose. Much international fanfare accompanied Laika’s flight into earth’s orbit, some two thousand miles above her home. She died a day or two after the launch, possibly from overheating.

Xin Liu’s new show at Make Room, “Living/Distance,” did not at first hit the observer with the pathos of that Cold War space flight, but the results of the artist’s own extraterrestrial experiments did elicit an unexpected cognitive dissonance between a Promethean wanderlust and a plangent fear of death. In 2018, Xin began working with the Space Exploration Initiative at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Media Lab. The collaboration culminated in Xin sending a

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