HE Zike,Saros,2020-2022,single channel video,900 secs,image courtesy of the artist
Saros presents a dystopian story. At the apex of a new cycle of solar activity, after the solar eclipse of the summer solstice, a family transform into their domestic environment of a soap, plastic bag, simulated plant and electric plug, in the shadow of the eclipse and the disruption of the electronic system.
As the final stage of the Download Life series, the film, like a hallucination created by the fragments of the previous works, uses digital models as a medium for submersion in modern life, including a series of irregular structures behind them: networks, databases, QR codes, planetary matter, cosmic cycles, artificial environments, mysterious signals, and the order and breakdown of the mundane human life. It recreates the annular eclipse of the summer solstice in 2020 and invokes the deadly relationship between solar activity and electronic systems to touch on the uncertainties that exist in both the digital and physical world – in the pre-Internet era, a breakdown in electronic systems caused by a massive solar storm had occurred, which could turn out to be a catastrophe today, however, the next one cannot yet be predicted. As a silent aside, an intelligent machine recounts its experience of a malfunction, as if describing an illness, a systemic disruption. It also talks about “deformation” and “disappearance” that might happen in a state of overload, and the flow of boundaries and concepts. Yet it may also be mere gibberish.
The film was shot in the neighborhoods of the Capital Belt of Beijing, where the artist lived during the lockdown, and invited friends, neighbors, and domestic and maintenance workers to join the performance . In addition, as a parallel line, the audience can scan the QR codes that appear in the film to access different screen spaces. These include a short notice, and two pieces of advertisement for a digital perfume and a digital watch, which can be accessed in its digital form, however the virtual world does not smell and the watch can not indicate the time.
While the Chinese title means one day in eternity, the English title of the work, Saros, means the certain period of time used to predict the cycle of eclipses, where the Sun, Earth and Moon return to similar corresponding positions, so that almost the same eclipses will occur again.