Time’s up on the current world. But a new world is yet to arrive. The world staggers about in ill-fitting clothes, discombobulated and distressed. Since the 2008 market crash, the world has been in frantic pursuit of profit accumulation. The concomitant and catastrophic crises in labor and ecology announce the inevitable demise impelled by capitalistic exploitations of humans and the natural environment.
A new society does not arrive by chanting songs of idealism or humanist slogans. It is imperative that we first rediscover what we have neglected to pay attention to: the priceless and crucial act of thinking a new society. Simple Thoughts is organized around the theme Ecology-Gender-Communism for this reason. It is not necessary to respect all environmentalisms, all feminisms, all communisms. Our rediscovery of Ecology-Gender-Communism happens at the horizon of universal human liberation, from seeing humans as an inherent part of nature.
Simple Thoughts is a civic art project led by four collaborators: Ji Yoon Yang, a curator of contemporary art, Byungjun Kwon and Ryu Biho, two artists who work with video and sound, and Gyuhang Kim, a social critic. The project began with Gyuhang Kim’s lecture ‘Misery in Commodity-Producing Society’ in July 2021. This December exhibition introduces viewers to a video made by employing AI deep-learning algorithms and to digital tracks submitted by artists and citizens to LOOP that ponder what possible forms the society-to-come might take. Through headsets designed by Byungjun Kwon, the audience can listen to these tracks over the course of 40 minutes as they walk the neighborhood of Hongdae and reflect on our current world and the world to come. Ryu Biho distributes various flags for Ecology-Gender-Communism to each audience member. A prostrating robot strenuously crawls about the exhibition space, while a Sufi robot whirls in the manner of a dervish. The faces of various people appear upended in their various locations, each person reflecting the sun through a mirror.
‘Solidarity can change the world’ is a motto that always holds true. Yet we frequently forget to ask what world needs changing and what world needs to arrive. The aim of this project is to learn the structures and fundamental mechanisms of the existing world, and to imagine and draw a world to come. Civic-minded people must be radical and must simultaneously be artists. Simple Thoughts contemplates the reasons capitalism has become the root cause of global crises and attempts to sketch a horizon beyond our current state. This is the moment to break away from the cliché of capitalist critique rampant in the intellectual and contemporary art milieu. This project brings artists and audience together to ask, imagine, listen, and think while walking the streets. We join in solidarity with an artistic citizenry through artistic sensibility and imagination that reach beyond harsh realities.
Written by Ji Yoon Yang
Director, Alternative Space LOOP
Translated by Emily Yaewon Lee